European Respiratory Journal vol:21 issue:1 pages:109-115
An individualised asthma programme directed at behavioural change was evaluated in asthmatic subjects who reported complaints and impairment, despite adequate medical treatment. Mild-to-moderate asthma patients (n=23) were randomly assigned to a programme or waiting list condition. Outcome measures were: McMaster Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, Asthma Symptom Checklist, Negative Emotionality Scale, Knowledge, Attitude and Self-Efficacy Asthma Questionnaire, Adherence Scale, and peak flow measurements. Both groups were evaluated at three consecutive moments, each separated by 3 months; the programme was delivered between the first two evaluations. At onset the patient received a workbook containing information, exercises and homework assignments. Psycho-education, behavioural and cognitive techniques were introduced during six 1-h individual sessions. Compared with controls the programme group reported less symptoms (obstruction, fatigue), better quality of life (activity, symptoms, emotions), decreased negative affectivity, and increased adherence, immediately after finishing the programme and at 3 months follow-up. All three cognitive variables (knowledge, attitude towards asthma, self-efficacy) and day and night peak flow ratings improved in the programme group but not in the waiting list group. Participation in an individualised programme resulted in improvement of asthma morbidity, and asthma-related behaviour and cognitions, in subjects reporting symptoms and impairment despite adequate medical therapy.