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December 10, 1997

Outcomes Analysis in Asthma

JAMA. 1997;278(22):1874-1880. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550220080011

Physicians, patients, employers, managed care organizations, insurance companies, and government all want to know how different approaches to management of asthma are improving care. To this end, the field of outcomes analysis in asthma is playing a major role. Clinical, physiologic, humanistic, and economic outcomes are being assessed using different types of general and asthma-specific instruments. Historically, clinical and physiologic outcomes have been of most concern to clinicians. However, humanistic outcomes, such as health-related quality of life and patient satisfaction, shift the focus to the patient. Economic outcomes, especially cost-effectiveness, evaluate how to achieve the best outcomes at the lowest cost. These outcomes have been used to evaluate asthma intervention programs. Several large asthma outcomes research projects, which should define the future of outcomes analysis in asthma, are under way.