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An inquest into the death of a young man who died of an asthma attack in 2000 led to the development of a phased provincial asthma strategy. Following the results of the inquest, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) implemented Ontario’s Asthma Plan of Action (APA), now called the Asthma Program (AP) and in 2002, the Primary Care Asthma Pilot Project (PCAPP) was launched across 8 primary care sites across Ontario. This pilot project focused on early screening, diagnosis, health promotion, disease prevention, management and treatment of asthma. The pilot project ended in 2006 and the program demonstrated:

Patient Outcomes

  • # Nighttime awakening symptoms decreased by 45.2%
  • # Asthma attacks decreased by 29.9%
  • # School/work days missed decreased by 48.8%
  • # Daytime symptoms decreased by 33.7%

Acute care Use

  • # ED visits decreased by 50.0%

Asthma management

  • # of spirometry test completed doubled (38.4% to 67.4%)(p<0.0001)

PCAP is now a standardized program based on best practice, outcomes from the PCAP Pilot project and the Canadian Respiratory Guidelines. It uses specific tools designed to guide practitioners and clients through effective management of a respiratory care program. It is evolving as a program and continues to develop and evaluate resources needed to effectively provide respiratory care in the primary care setting.