Comparison of clinic models for patients with work-related asthma.

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Abstract

Background

Work-related asthma (WRA) is a prevalent occupational lung disease that is associated with undesirable effects on psychological status, quality of life (QoL), workplace activity and socioeconomic status. Previous studies have also indicated that clinic structure may impact outcomes among patients with asthma.

Aims

To identify the impact of clinic structure on psychological status, QoL, workplace limitations and socioeconomic status of patients with WRA among two different tertiary clinic models.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional analysis between two tertiary clinics: clinic 1 had a traditional referral base and clinical staffing while clinic 2 entirely comprised Worker's Compensation System referrals and included an occupational hygienist and a return-to-work coordinator. Beck Anxiety and Depression II Inventories (BAI and BDI-II), Marks' Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (M-AQLQ) and Work Limitation Questionnaire (WLQ) were used to assess outcomes for patients with WRA.

Results

Clinic 2 participants had a better psychological status across the four instruments compared with clinic 1 (for Beck 'Anxiety': P < 0.001 and 'Depression': P < 0.01, 'Mood' domain of M-AQLQ: NS and 'Mental Demands' domain of WLQ: P < 0.01). Clinic 2 had a greater proportion of participants with reduced income.

Conclusions

Our study indicates that clinic structure may play a role in outcomes. Future research should examine this in larger sample sizes.

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