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How to Give a Talk Based on One Minute Asthma

Thomas F. Plaut, M.D.

I have presented my thoughts on asthma and how to control it to hundreds of audiences of health professionals and patients over the years. Since 1995 I have used One Minute Asthma as the outline for my talks, varying the topics covered to suit the audience. Many other professionals have adopted this method. The illustrations in the book eliminate the need for slides. A brief pre and post test and evaluation are appended.

Goal: Each participant will gain knowledge that will help them guide their patients or themselves to better control asthma.

Method: Leader distributes a copy of One Minute Asthma to each participant and covers the topics listed below. Participants take questionnaire before and after the talk. During the talk they take notes in their personal copy of One Minute Asthma.

Essential topics:
• You Can Control Asthma
• What Happens in the Airways
• Peak Flow Zones
• Asthma Medicines
• Using the Asthma Diary
• Using the Asthma Action Plan

Leader answers one or two questions on each topic before moving on to the next. After covering the essential topics, they offer to discuss any other issue covered in the booklet. If time remains, they deal with other questions.

Sample Evaluation of Asthma Talk based on One Minute Asthma

Questions to be answered before and after talk:

Once your asthma is under control, will you be able to run as long and as hard as you want?
During an asthma episode, is the lining of your airways swollen due to inflammation?
Your peak flow measures how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. Will your score will tell you whether you have a mild, moderate or severe problem?
Name the two main types of asthma medicines:
What type is used daily to prevent episodes?
What type is used to treat episodes?
When you record your peak flow on a good diary, can see the effect of changing your medicine dose or encountering a trigger?
When your peak flow is in the high yellow zone should you:
a. reduce triggers
b. change your treatment
c. reduce triggers and change your treatment

Questions to be answered one week after talk:

Was anything in the talk or materials of practical use to you?
If yes, please list:
Did you learn that you can control asthma better than you thought you would be able to?
Did you improve the way you are able to communicate with your doctor or nurse?
Did you improve the way you take your inhaled medicines?
Did you improve the way you keep a diary?
Did you ask your doctor for an action plan?
Did you read any part of One Minute Asthma since the talk?
Will you refer to One Minute Asthma in the future?

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