- Volume 3 | Fall 2010
- Not on our list? Subscribe now!
Helping Healthcare Professionals Get the GIST of Asthma Guidelines
|Definition of Gist|
The main point or part: essence
(Source: Merriam Webster Dictionary)
To asthma researchers from the Michigan Department of Community Health Asthma Prevention and Control Program—and its partners from the Asthma Initiative of Michigan—getting to the main point is the crux of their new Asthma Guideline Implementation Steps and Tools (GIST) program.
“We were looking for an acronym that captured what our program was doing: getting to the guts of the asthma guidelines,” said Tisa Vorce, GIST Project Coordinator, and the source of the acronym.
Asthma Research into Action
Talented “Tailors” Needed for Childhood Asthma Treatments
“There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to childhood asthma treatment,” said Dr. Robert F. Lemanske, Jr., Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health (Madison), and Head of the Division of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology.
Dr. Lemanske is the lead author of a recent NIH-funded study which revealed that while most children who have trouble controlling their asthma with low-dose inhaled corticosteroids show improvement by increasing the dose, or by adding another medication, the best option differs for each child.
GIP in Focus
Severity + History = A Roadmap to Treatment
During the winter of 1994, James W. Stout, MD, MPH, FAAP, was working at the Odessa Brown Children's Clinic in Seattle's lower income Central District when he was struck by something.
"It seemed like the nebulizer [a machine that changes medication from a liquid to a mist so that it can be more easily inhaled into the lungs] was never turned off," said Dr. Stout. "It was kept on because of the large number of children with asthma who were coming into the clinic ill."
He also noted the great number of times he spoke with a child who told him that s/he had no problems breathing, but then a spirometry reading revealed that the child was "walking around obstructed without knowing it."
These experiences spurred Dr. Stout’s interest in investigating whether measuring lung function—through spirometry—alongside the usual review of a patient’s clinical history would substantially change where that patient ranked in terms of severity.