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Table 1 Patients and primary care providers’ statements for the main themes that emerged from the focus groups

From: Engaging patients and primary care providers in the design of novel opinion leader based interventions for acute asthma in the emergency department: a mixed methods study

Participants Main themes Statements
Patients with asthma Preference for specialized knowledge in the delivery of ED asthma education “They know what to prescribe to you. They are a lot more specialized or they will have more idea what to give you for what your symptoms are”.
Anxiety as barrier for information uptake during the ED visit “You are scared, you’re terrified; you are focused on your breathing. Honestly I thought I was dying”.
Role, content and provider of “teachable moments” in the ED “I would sit with a nurse or whoever and talk while I am in the actual emergency area. But I don’t think I am taking information in. You could talk to me until I’m blue in the face but if I’m not well and having an asthmatic attack, I’m telling you I’m not taking the information in because I am not thinking”.
Transitions in care from emergency to the primary care settings “Sometimes you go to see your family doctor and although they are trying to give you the best care that they can, they are so overwhelmed a lot of times with their practice that they don’t always have full time for you, whereas if you go to see your lung specialist, that’s basically all they are there for your problem. Your family doctor can’t do the tests that the asthma doctors do”.
Primary care providers Notification and timing of follow-up after ED discharge “Why can’t [I] get this a day after?; everybody wants notification that his/her patient has been in Emerg. Realistically within a day is not going to happen, but it has to be as soon as practical. If they don’t recover from the episode, I want to know that day. If they weren’t given prednisone or ICS, it would be good to know. Three weeks later, they’re going to be in real trouble”.
Content of ED discharge letters and education “Diagnosis is the key part here. The diagnosis of asthma would make me act, it’s not about doubting the diagnosis, it’s used like a red flag/alert (it’s nice to be able to read the diagnosis/be given a diagnosis, then you know what to do.”
Role of OLs for ambulatory asthma care and education “Family physician perspective is better, more relatable, getting taught by people that know your experience, less of a top down approach”.
Time constraints for post-ED follow-up and education “Physicians often can’t spend hours with patients; asthma educators can review environmental changes, be more didactic; they can show pictures and graphs.”
  1. ED Emergency department