Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Program could help teens control asthma

Date:
March 8, 2010
Source:
Medical College of Georgia
Summary:
An asthma program specifically tailored to teens could help those in rural areas manage their disease and avoid potentially fatal complications, researchers say.

An asthma program specifically tailored to teens could help those in rural areas manage their disease and avoid potentially fatal complications, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Black males have a death rate from asthma that is six times greater than their white counterparts, and Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief in the MCG School of Medicine Section of Allergy and Immunology, believes asthma rates are as bad in rural areas as they are in inner cities.

"The prevalence is probably the same in rural areas," he said. "But teens from those areas already face a number of other problems that can complicate their disease -- poor housing quality, air pollution, more trouble getting to doctors and smaller, less-equipped hospitals."

Forgetting to take medications or carry rescue inhalers only exacerbates the problem, as does exposure to tobacco -- either from smoking or second-hand smoke. Dr. Ownby said previous studies have shown smoking is more prevalent in rural areas than inner-cities.

He and other researchers think that Puff City, a culturally-tailored intervention program aimed at three key areas -- reduction of tobacco exposure, adherence to medication and attack readiness -- could help at-risk teens better manage their asthma.

Over the next three years, with $2.1 million in funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Drs. Ownby and Martha Tingen, a nurse researcher at the Georgia Prevention Institute, will work with 300 Ninth- to 11th-graders with asthma from Burke, Jefferson and McDuffie counties. Half of the teens will be exposed to traditional educational asthma Web sites; the other half will use Puff City.

Developed and tested by Christine Joseph, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Puff City uses a "hip" character known as DJ Puffman to reach teens through a multi-session, Web-based program. Each time students log on, the character gives advice that is individually tailored to each student's asthma condition based on previously provided information about how the student already deals with the disease.

"The program really comes alive for them," Dr. Tingen said. "It may ask a question, for instance, about how they can best remember to take their medication, maybe by placing it next to their cell phone at night. The next time they log in to the program, DJ Puffman will ask how that strategy is working for them."

In each group, teens receive four computerized asthma management sessions that are accessed on computers at school. Users also can problem solve asthma-management issues and hear educational information on the disease.

The program has already proven useful in other populations. Teens in inner-city Detroit, where it was originally tested, made 50 percent fewer visits to emergency departments, required 50 percent fewer hospitalizations and had 60 percent fewer school absences.

The disease, which affects more than 300 million people worldwide, is a chronic inflammation that causes a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. Those narrowings -- commonly called asthma attacks -- cause more than 4,000 deaths each year in the United States alone, according to the American Lung Association.

If the program proves to be successful with rural Georgia teens, Puff City could be one way to lessen the burden of a disease that is the third most expensive to Georgia taxpayers.

"We are hoping that this is a program that can be easily disseminated world-wide at a relatively low cost," Dr. Tingen said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Medical College of Georgia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Medical College of Georgia. "Program could help teens control asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100308171217.htm>.
Medical College of Georgia. (2010, March 8). Program could help teens control asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100308171217.htm
Medical College of Georgia. "Program could help teens control asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100308171217.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins