OBJECTIVES: Implementation of guidelines into clinical practice is challenging and complex. This study aims to (1) identify the training needs and capacity requirements, and (2) explore the impact on healthcare utilisation and asthma-related quality of life of implementing both spirometry and fraction of exhaled nitric oxide in diagnosis of asthma among children in the UK primary care. METHODS: Ten UK general practitioner practices and a total of 612 children (5-16 years) with diagnosed or suspected asthma were invited to participate in this prospective observational study. The total times that the trainer and trainee clinical staff spent on developing the training package, providing and receiving, and performing and interpreting the two tests as part of routine child asthma review were collected, and costs were calculated. We compared healthcare utilisation and asthma-related and general health-related quality of life data between the 6 months before and after the asthma review guided by objective tests. RESULTS: The average training cost for the 27 primary care clinical members was £1395. The average cost to implement and deliver the test-guided asthma review among the 612 included children was £22. In the 6 months following the tests-guided asthma review, both unplanned primary care attendance, and hospital admissions were reduced, and the asthma-related health status increased significantly. CONCLUSION: This study provides robust cost estimates of the resources needed to implement the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence asthma guideline. It also demonstrates the potential to save healthcare costs and improve health status among asthmatic children by implementing this guideline.
Arch Dis Child
economics, health services research, healthcare, outcome and process assessment, outcome assessment, technology