Article Text

PDF
The health behaviour and clinical characteristics of ambulance users with acute asthma
  1. S M S Smith1,5,
  2. C Mitchell2,3,
  3. S D Bowler4,
  4. C Heneghan1,
  5. R Perera1
  1. 1
    Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Department of Primary Health Care, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  2. 2
    School of Medicine, University of Queensland, Herston, Australia
  3. 3
    Princess Alexandra Hospital, Woolloongabba, Australia
  4. 4
    Department of Medicine, Mater Adult Public Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia
  5. 5
    Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK
  1. Dr S Smith, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, Chest and Allergy, 1st Floor Mint Wing, St Mary’s Hospital, London W2 1NY, UK; sheree.smith{at}imperial.nhs.uk

Abstract

Objective: This study sought to determine if ambulance service users differ in their health behaviours to “walk-in” patients attending an emergency department (ED) with acute asthma.

Method: Retrospective cross-sectional study of people with acute asthma stratified by ambulance use attending two ED. The health-promoting lifestyle profile and health risk appraisal tools assessed health and risk-taking behaviours, and the clinical variables assessed include: forced expiratory volume in 1 s, admission rates, severity, asthma medications, anxiety and depression.

Results: Of the 142 patients, 26% used the ambulance service as transport to the ED. Ambulance users were significantly older than walk-in patients (40 vs 32 years, p⩽0.05) and were less likely to return to follow-up appointments (odds ratio (OR) 2.93, 95% CI 1.16 to 7.37). Walk-in patients were more likely to report higher levels of education (OR 4.36, 95% CI 1.11 to 17.09). There was no difference between the groups for health-promoting behaviours. In reducing risks to their health and after adjusting for age and gender, there was a trend towards ambulance users undertaking preventive health measures more often than walk-in patients.

Conclusions: Ambulance users with acute asthma are more likely to be older, married and less educated. There is no evidence that this group is less responsible in managing their health; however, fewer ambulance users attended their follow-up appointment and the implication for ongoing care requires further investigation.

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Funding: This study was supported by CRC for Asthma and Asthma Australia, Health Education and Health Promotion Scholarship 2001 and Asthma Foundation of Queensland grant no 2001/2.

  • Competing interests: Declared. SDB reports having received speaker’s fees from Astra Zeneca, Glaxo-Smith-Kline and Altana. The other authors report no conflicts of interest.

  • Ethics approval: Ethical clearance was obtained from both participating hospitals and Queensland University of Technology’s Ethics Committee.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.