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DHS news release

July 6, 2005

Contact: Bonnie Widerburg (503) 731-4180

Technical contact: Karen Main, (503) 731-4273



Health providers and caregivers of people who have asthma now have access to easy-to-read, clinically accurate information to help patients control their condition.


Asthma is one of the state's most prevalent chronic diseases, affecting about one in 10 Oregon adults. While it's an illness that can be managed, some people with asthma have difficulty controlling the condition, according to Karen Main, asthma program manager in the Oregon Department of Human Services.


"People with asthma can live normal, active lives, but often don't recognize when their symptoms are getting worse or what to do when they have problems," Main said. "Many people with asthma also need help in improving their medication habits."


The resource bank contains educational materials that can help people with asthma. It also has two provider tools: a self-assessment questionnaire that the patient completes before seeing the doctor and an asthma action plan that the doctor can use to provide specific instructions for the patient to take home for future reference.


The materials can be used in various ways:

  • By doctors, to educate patients on specific asthma issues;
  • By case managers, nurses, or health plan quality improvement coordinators as follow-up education after a routine appointment, emergency department visit or hospitalization;
  • By school nurses and staff, or other community health educators to reinforce asthma management advice given by a child's physician.


The project is a joint effort of the Oregon Asthma Network, a group of over 1,600 health care providers, community and environmental organizations, government agencies, schools, people with asthma and their caregivers, and others who are concerned about the disease in Oregon. The Oregon Asthma Network is coordinated by DHS.


Materials were based on the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program's (NAEPP) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma and the Guide to Improving Asthma Care in Oregon. The products received a final review by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before publication, according to Main.