Asthma resources available for
health professionals

July 1, 2011 12:00 am Views: 83
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The Asthma Society of Canada is a registered national charity focusing on asthma and associated allergies through education and patient empowerment. We offer a wide range of education and support materials which may assist health-care professionals in providing asthma education for patients. Of the three million Canadians who currently suffer from asthma, only 40 per cent have control of their condition.

One of our most valuable resources for health professionals is our toll-free Allergy and Asthma Education Support Program. Available by phone at 1-866-787-4050 and via e-mail at info@asthma.ca, we have Certified Asthma Educators and Certified Respiratory Educators from across the country who are able to answer any of your questions about asthma. If you require information about diagnosis, therapy, triggers, sensitizers or other topics, or if you are looking for the appropriate advice to provide patients, our services are available in English and French. We also provide individual counselling for patients, parents and caregivers through the same service, and we encourage you to direct any patients to this service for follow-up care.

For patients who do not already have a personalized Asthma Action Plan, we also offer a template available through our website and in brochure format. Our bright, colourful plans can be explained to patients as a written contract between them and their health professionals. Using a stoplight model, the patient learns to understand which clinical guidelines indicate full control of their asthma, and what medications to take at what frequency when they are not experiencing symptoms. When symptoms are present, the Asthma Action Plan will help the patient understand what additional therapies are necessary, allowing the patient to self-manage their condition without additional strain on health resources. In emergency situations, the Plan directs patients to seek help immediately. Our templates are available for you to quickly and easily fill in the blanks with prescribed therapies, and additional copies can be made for the patient’s home, school, workplace, team coach, and any other supervisors or guardians.

To help your patients understand their asthma, our most popular resources can be ordered for you to distribute as necessary. These include our Asthma Basics booklet series. The four books focus on Diagnosis, Triggers, Medications, and Kids, providing basic level asthma education in language-appropriate formats. These booklets walk the patient through various checklists of asthma control, forms to record their medication use, and templates to provide for their school. Pictures and step-by-step diagrams help the reader understand how to properly take their medications and use a spacer, and how to remove triggers from their home environment. The specially designed Kids booklet helps children explore and understand the mystery of asthma, led by Dr. Eugene Airway. Online, our education information is available at www.asthma.ca (for asthma basics and diagnosis), www.asthmameds.ca (for medications), www.4seasonsofasthma.ca (for triggers),www.asthmakids.ca (for children), and www.airsquare.ca (for teenagers).

For patients or health professionals looking for a deeper understanding of asthma, our online e-Learning Module provides asthma education through an interactive slideshow and talking avatar. Designed in partnership with AllerGen NCE and the Division of E-Learning Innovation at McMaster University, this educational module takes approximately 40 minutes to complete, and reviews all major topics of asthma including what asthma does to the lungs, diagnosis, symptoms, triggers, medications, and how to access other resources and achieve control. The module can be viewed at www.takingcontrolofyourasthma.ca, and we can assist you in repackaging this information if you require a presentation about asthma for a patient or other special audience.

Finally, we have programs available which can provide asthma patients with ongoing support and information. Our National Asthma Patient Alliance (NAPA) provides a collective voice for asthma patients through advocacy campaigns and activities, and members receive asthma education information through a monthly newsletter and breaking news alerts. Membership is free, and open to anyone with an asthma connection, including health professionals. Other NAPA programming includes Asthma Ambassadors, our peer-to-peer support and education program, and Team Asthma, which promotes healthy active lifestyles for people with a connection to asthma.

We are happy to work with any individuals or organizations to assist in your asthma education needs. To view all the materials and programs we offer, please visit www.asthma.ca. If you would like to speak to someone about the Asthma Society, we encourage you to contact 416-787-4050 or e-mail info@asthma.ca. With your help, we can improve the quality of life for asthma patients across Canada.

Article By:

Rob Lanteigne

Rob Lanteigne is the NAPA Coordinator at the Asthma Society of Canada.

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