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Monday, March 19, 2012
  Clinical Accuracy Spoken Here  

Asthma: Measuring Lung Function

Objective measures of lung function are important for making a diagnosis, assessing the severity of asthma, and developing and using asthma action plans. Attempts to assess lung function through physical examinations and patients' reports can be inaccurate.

Spirometry measurements (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC) can help determine whether there is airflow obstruction and whether it is reversible.

Spirometry is generally valuable in children over the age of 4; however, some children cannot conduct the maneuver adequately until after age 7.

[Reference: Asthma, Module A, Pathophysiology]

  Excellence in Case Mgmt  

Asthma: Coach the Patient

Case management strategies emphasize coaching the asthma patient:

  • On the importance of inhaler technique and appropriate inhaler use
  • How to optimize drug therapy
  • What actions will minimize exposure to allergens
  • To monitor symptoms, recognize early signs of deterioration and adjust medications accordingly.
  • To monitor peak flow to assess the severity of an exacerbation and the response to therapy.
  • About adherence to the asthma action plan in the event of an exacerbation (children should also receive a plan appropriate to the school setting).

[Reference: Asthma, Module D, CM Role]

  Improving Patient Care...  

Key Asthma Assessments

To determine whether the goals of asthma therapy are being met, it is crucial to examine how the disease expression and control are affecting the patient's quality of life. Several key areas of quality of life should be assessed periodically for each person with asthma.

[Reference: Asthma, Module D, CM Role]

Multidisciplinary Program Lowers Pediatric Asthma Deaths

A study found that of the number of asthma deaths dropped when children participated in a multidisciplinary Children's Hospital Asthma Management Program clinic, particularly during the time when the clinic hosted a social worker. The researchers reported at an American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology meeting. Family Practice News (3/15)


Tom RasmussenTom Rasmussen
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Why Social Work Matters...

The social work profession has been instrumental in achieving civil rights and human rights advances in the United States and across the globe for more than a century. The primary mission of social work is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people, especially the most vulnerable.

National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 2012.www.naswdc.org

Athena Forum celebrates Social Work's rich foundation of competencies that drive Case Management: Social Work Matters!

Ellen Fink-Samnick MSW, ACSW, LCSW, CCM, CRP
Director of Social Work Education
Athena Forum

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