The MICA Study
The Management to Improve Control of Asthma (MICA) study was a 6-month cluster randomized controlled trial which tested the effectiveness of two GP-delivered interventions designed to tackle poor medication-taking routines and/or patients’ concerns about inhaler use. One group received automated twice-daily inhaler reminders for missed doses plus adherence feedback via a monitoring device clipped to the inhaler, and a secure website accessible by patients and their GP; the reminders could be customized or stopped by patients. A second group engaged in personalized adherence discussions with their doctors about key barriers to medication-taking; a third group received both interventions. A fourth group received active usual care alone.
In this first ever study in primary care, patients receiving reminders took on average 73% of their prescribed daily doses over 6 months compared to only 46% in patients who did not have reminders. Further, although there was no difference in symptom control between groups, severe flare-ups were experienced significantly less by patients receiving reminders than those not receiving them (11% versus 28%).
About the National Medicinewise Award:
Recognising outstanding Australian contributions to quality use of medicines and medical tests. The biennial National Medicinewise Awards are an opportunity for NPS MedicineWise to recognise the wide range of exciting and innovative quality use of medicines and medical test activities happening across Australia.
Dr Juliet Foster entered the MICA study in the biennial National Medicinewise Award on behalf of the study team and it won the prize for “Excellence in e-health resources”. The MICA study team includes Prof. Helen Reddel of the Woolcock Institute and collaborators Prof. Tim Usherwood, Dr. Lorraine Smith, Prof. Susan M Sawyer, Dr Wei Xuan, and Prof. Cynthia S Rand.
"The judges were impressed by your initiative, saying that was innovative, rigorous and has potential for wide application.”
A research article about the MICA study has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI). JACI is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology. JACI has also identified the paper as a “high-profile article of special clinical interest” and, on publication, the research article will be highlighted in the “New Research” section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology website”.