Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

An evaluation of community pharmacists applying the patient centered care approach to ambulatory Oregon Health Plan asthmatics in a Managed Care setting

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  • Purpose: The Purpose of this research was to design, implement and evaluate a patient centered asthma intervention pilot program directed by physicians and administered by community pharmacists to a group of Managed Care contracted Oregon Health Plan asthmatics. The evaluation was to determine if the proposed intervention could improve the enrolled asthma patient's related education and quality of life while simultaneously creating economic benefit for the sponsoring health plan. Methods: The study was designed to be a prospective, six month pre and posttest quasi-experimental evaluation combined with a Solomon-like two-control group comparison. All patients in the sponsoring health plan twelve years of age and older who had six months of continuous enrollment were eligible. Enrollment of the target patients was voluntary and the time period of the evaluation (November, 1997 to May, 1998) was purposely conducted to capture the notoriously difficult asthma trigger cold and allergy seasons. Information regarding the cost and frequency of pre and post emergency room visits, hospitalizations, physician's office and medications use and Health Related Quality of Life (HRQL) was collected for the intervention group and control group. Satisfaction information for the major actors was collected and analyzed at posttest. Within group comparisons were conducted using the paired T-test and the unpaired T-test was used for between group comparison. Results: Patients in the intervention group who had their physician and pharmacist fully participate in respectively directing and administering the study protocol showed associated improvements in their quality of life measures. Economic benefit to the health plan is suggested by a cost benefit ratio of 1:5.71 resulting from favorable decreases in health care related resources and improved asthma related medication utilization. Analysis of the satisfaction measures suggests that all the major participants were very satisfied with the intervention. Conclusion: Even though the sample size in this pilot study was relatively small, the resulting information should not be immediately discounted. The evidence suggests that in those cases where the study protocol was followed, favorable economic, HRQL and satisfaction is comparable to larger, previously conducted studies.
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