Estimating the Impact of Improving Asthma Treatment

A Review and Synthesis of the Literature

by Soeren Mattke, Paco Martorell, Priya Sharma, Lindsey K. Morse, Nicole Lurie, Marielena Lara

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Over 30 million Americans are suffering from asthma. It is the most common chronic disease among children, particularly minority children. While asthma has become an inherently treatable disease, actual treatment continues to fall short of recommended care. Many asthma attacks could be avoided, and much suffering prevented, if nationally accepted treatment guidelines were consistently followed. This report informs the debate about better ways to care for asthma by synthesizing the research on the cost and benefits of better asthma care. While the researchers could not obtain reasonable estimates of the costs or benefits of care, they found that there were substantial gaps in the quality of asthma care and that disadvantaged populations appear to receive worse care. More economic evaluation of the impact of these gaps and of interventions to improve asthma control is needed; such research should use standard definitions to allow comparison across studies and aggregation of data.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Assessment Of The Evidence Base

  • Chapter Three

    Analysis of Selected Endpoints

  • Appendix A

    Asthma Quality of Care — Search Methodologies

  • Appendix B

    Literature Search Websites

  • Appendix C

    Articles Included in the review

  • Appendix D

    Abstraction Tool

The research described in this report was prepared for the Merck Childhood Asthma Network (MCAN) and conducted by RAND Health.

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