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Free Content Factors associated with frequent emergency room attendance by asthma patients in Palestine

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SETTING: The emergency room (ER) of Alia Governmental Hospital in Hebron city, in the southern part of the West Bank.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the role of asthma severity, health services utilisation and medication use in frequent ER attendance for asthmatics in Palestine.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional study using a previously developed questionnaire.

RESULTS: Of 121 asthma patients, 73.5% were frequent ER attendees during the previous year, with a mean 6.7 visits (standard error 0.75). Moderate/severe asthma and hospital admissions in the previous year due to asthma were the strongest predictors for frequent attendees (adjusted OR [aOR] 6.92, 95%CI 2.44–19.62 and 11.16, 95%CI 4.37–28, respectively). Frequent attendees reported more difficulties in using asthma inhalers compared to one-time ER attendees (aOR 2.49, 95%CI 1.04–5.99). Inhaled short-acting 2-agonists were reported to be used regularly, on most days, by frequent attendees (≥1 canister/month) compared to one-time attendees (aOR 4.4, 95%CI 1.28–15 and 4.05, 95%CI 1.33–12, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: Lack of proper use of inhalers and an over-reliance on reliever therapy contributes to asthma morbidity in Palestine. We recommend an intervention programme at the professional and patient levels.
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Keywords: asthma; emergency room; frequent ER attendees; health service utilisation; medication use

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Faculty of Public Health, Al Quds University, Jerusalem, Palestine

Publication date: 01 August 2007

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

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