Asthma Education Delivered in an Emergency Department and an Asthma Education Center: A Feasibility Study

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Implementation of asthma education in the emergency department (ED) setting is controversial. Time constraints and patient anxiety may be potential barriers to learning. This study aimed to describe the feasibility and impact of a brief evidence-based asthma education intervention delivered in the ED and an asthma education center (AEC) on asthma knowledge and perceived control. The educational intervention was easily integrated into routine care in the ED. Participants were similar except for age and current state of anxiety. At follow-up, both groups showed a significant increase in asthma knowledge (ED, n = 3.1, SD = 2.1, p < .01; AEC, n = 2.6, SD = 2.7, p = .01). Perceived control improved significantly in the ED (n = 2.6, SD = 3.9; p = .01). Despite higher state anxiety scores in the ED setting, a brief asthma educational intervention resulted in a short-term increase in asthma knowledge and perceived control. Asthma knowledge also increased after the intervention in the AEC setting. Educational initiatives are feasible and may be beneficial in an ED, providing an additional opportunity for counseling that should not be missed.

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