Module A: Pathophysiology of Asthma

CE Credits: 1.5


The module lays the foundation for a basic understanding of asthma, including its causes and possible complications. It begins with asthma’s prevalence in society and greater incidence in certain demographics. It then describes the key characteristics and pathology of asthma—how the illness presents itself and how it affects a patient’s airways. Next, the module examines the different factors that can heighten the risk for or exacerbate asthma, from environmental irritants to co-morbidities such as sleep apnea or even depression

Learning objectives: After completing this module the case manager will be able to:
» Discuss the burden of asthma in the United States
» Describe socioeconomic factors across pediatric, adolescent and adult populations
» Discuss key characteristics in the continuum of pediatric, adolescent and adult patients
» Identify key features of asthma pathophysiology
» Review risk factors and environmental exposures
» Identify comorbidities that may aggravate asthma symptoms


Advance your professional practice: Because asthma is such a common disorder, case managers are quite likely to interact with patients suffering from the illness, and can play a vital role in helping connect the patient with proper care and manage resources for high quality, cost-effective asthma care. When we can recognize asthma’s key characteristics and risk factors, we can help our patients get on a path for asthma management.

Improve organizational performance: As a widespread chronic disorder, asthma has a big impact on individuals, families and society— in part because asthma patients are at high risk for emergency room visits and unnecessary hospitalizations. When the transdisciplinary team understands the basics of asthma, we can help get patients diagnosed and on a proper management regimen, lowering the odds of those unnecessary ER visits or hospitalizations, and improving their quality of life.