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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 855-861

Physical and socioeconomic impact of asthma in Nigeria: Experience of patients attending three tertiary hospitals

1 Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine University of Nigeria, Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria
4 Department of Medicine, Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. O O Desalu
Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, PMB 1459, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_294_18

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Background: Understanding the impact of asthma is the key to optimal care. Objective: To determine the physical, economic, and social impact of asthma from the perspectives of individual patients in Nigeria. Methods: This was a multicenter study of 172 adult asthma patients attending tertiary hospitals. We assessed the different impact of asthma in the preceding 12 months using a questionnaire. Physical impact (such as daily activity/chores, sport/exercise, and sleep quality), social impact (such as job loss, mental anguish, employer, and peers discrimination) and economic impact (like savings, indebtedness, mortgage/asset, and school or work absence). Results: The physical, social and economic impacts were perceived by 59.3%, 47.7%, and 51.2% of patients, respectively. The physical impacts were poor sleep (44.2%), limitation of daily activity/chores (38.4%), and sporting/exercise (39.5%). The economic impacts were reduced savings (38.4%) and indebtedness (17.4%). Absence from school and work were respectively reported by 75% of students and 38.3% of workers. Socially, 34.9% reported mental torture, 10.5% changed job, 4.7% experienced discrimination and 3.5% lost their jobs due to asthma. Asthma-related emergency department visit was 42% and hospitalization was 32.6%. The physical impact was associated with non-adherence to ICS and persistent asthma symptoms. Economic impact was associated with asthma hospitalization, work absenteeism, comorbidity, and National Health Insurance (NHIS) coverage. Male sex and lack of post-secondary education were associated with social impact. Conclusion: Asthma causes broad and substantial physical and socioeconomic impacts in our sample of patients. Exploring these impacts and engaging the patient is imperative for holistic management and good health outcomes.

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