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Friday, July 12, 2013 - Area Asthma Patients Benefit from Research Study

Area Asthma Patients Benefit from Research Study
Munson Family Practice residents recognized for original research effort

Two recently graduated Munson Family Practice Residency Program physicians are being recognized in the National Research Network medical newsletter for their original research efforts aimed at helping local asthma patients.

In the fall of 2010, Munson Family Practice Center joined 20 other family medicine practices nationally to launch a five-year national study on asthma care. As interns in Family Practice Residency Program, Roshani Jadia, M.D., and Behzod Rostam, M.D., stepped into the research project with guidance from faculty David Klee, M.D., and assistance from nurse Sheila Schwabe, LPN.

The American Academy of Family Practice characterizes the Asthma Tools Study as “a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the Asthma APGAR tool in rural family medicine practices.”

“The main objectives are to improve asthma care longitudinally from a patient and practice perspective and identifying if the implemented Asthma APGAR tool is beneficial for this purpose,” Dr. Jadia said. “One of the initial surprises while conducting the study was that patients often did not list their asthma under past or current medical history. We also noted that patients do not list inhalers when asked what medications they are on. We quickly revised our medical reconciliation process for all office visits as a result of that finding to improve patient safety and quality of care.”

The study is funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a part of the Department of Health and Human Services. The Asthma APGAR tool involved using already established national guidelines to determine classification of asthma severity, but expanded on assessing control of the disease by taking into account other risk factors such as allergen exposures, inhaler techniques, and compliance of asthma medications.

Patients who agreed to be involved in the study received five questionnaires over a two-year period and scheduled regular office visits with their physician based on their level of asthma control. It became clear that both patients and physicians focused more on other chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity and were not as aware of asthma’s impact on a patients’ health.

As the study progressed, questions related to sleep and exercise in asthmatics rang a bell with Dr. Jadia and Dr. Rostam. They launched a study within the national study examining the association between limitations in sleep and limitations in activity levels in asthma patients at the Munson Family Practice Center. Their results were determined to be statistically significant.

The American Academy of Family Practice Physicians National Network Newsletter plans to recognize the physicians for their original efforts at sleep quality and activity tolerance as a marker of asthma control.

Dr. Jadia and Dr. Rostam said they have noticed over the past few years that patients and physicians began to take a more active role in asthma care and were able to also see positive gains in other disease management.

“We had several patients that had great results. By gaining better control of their asthma, for example, they were able to start exercise programs and motivated to improve nutritional habits both of which can have positive impacts on other chronic diseases including diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and mood disorders,” Dr. Jadia said. “Some of our patients reported their asthma care to be life changing.”

Dr. Jadia and Dr. Rostam felt the opportunity to be involved in research was a wonderful experience and equipped them with important skills for future research endeavors.

Both physicians would like to thank all the individuals at Munson Family Practice Residency Program for their support for the research project. Now that they are graduated, Richard Shoskey, M.D., has assumed the resident responsibility to carry on the study to its completion in 2015.