Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma

Date:
December 7, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
A school-based intervention program designed for adolescents with asthma significantly improves asthma management and quality of life for the students who participate, and reduces asthma morbidity, according to researchers in New York City, who studied the effect of the program aimed at urban youth and their medical providers.

A school-based intervention program designed for adolescents with asthma significantly improves asthma management and quality of life for the students who participate, and reduces asthma morbidity, according to researchers in New York City, who studied the effect of the program aimed at urban youth and their medical providers. The Asthma Self-Management for Adolescents (ASMA) program is an eight-week intervention geared toward helping adolescents learn more effective ways of managing their symptoms and controlling their asthma.

The findings were published online ahead of the print edition of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

"We found that, relative to controls, ASMA students reported significantly more confidence in managing their asthma, greater use of their controller medication and written treatment plans, fewer days with asthma-related activity restrictions and fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations, as well as an improved quality of life," said Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD, assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine. "Our findings indicate ASMA is effective in improving asthma self-management and in reducing asthma morbidity and urgent health-care use in low-income, urban minority adolescents."

Collaborating with Robert B. Mellins, MD and David Evans, PhD of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and the NYC Department of Education, the researchers enrolled 9th and 10th graders from five New York City high schools. To aid in selection, students in these grades were asked to complete a case detection survey, which asked students if they had been diagnosed asthma and gathered information about the frequency of symptoms and the use of prescribed asthma medication. Following parental consent, researchers enlisted 345 students who reported an asthma diagnosis, symptoms of moderate to severe persistent asthma and asthma medication use in the previous 12 months, and randomized them to ASMA or a wait-list control group. Of the enrolled students, 46 percent identified themselves as Latino and 31 percent identified themselves as African-American.

During the study period, trained staff performed assessments of the students every two months over a 12-month period, in addition to the more detailed interviews that occurred at the start of the study and at 6 and 12 months following enrollment. Comprehensive surveys assessed self-management and medical management of asthma, including symptom management and use of written management plans and controllers; health outcomes, including symptom days and asthma-related school absences; and urgent health-care use, including medical visits and hospitalizations.

Those randomized to participate in the ASMA program underwent an eight-week, intensive program aimed at helping students manage their symptoms through three educational group sessions and individual coaching sessions, held at least one each week for five weeks. Students received coaching about medical visits and how to work with their medical provider to more effectively control their asthma. In addition, the students' medical providers were contacted to inform them of the study, and were given written materials and telephone consultations with pediatric pulmonologists or adolescent medicine specialists about the program's concepts and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) guidelines for treatment of asthma. Providers were encouraged to give students written treatment plans and to prescribe anti-inflammatory medicines for students with persistent asthma. Students without medical providers were given a referral to a primary care provider in their neighborhood, or to a school-based health center, when available.

"Research has shown adolescents are less likely to receive regular medical care compared to younger children, and minority adolescents are less likely to use preventive medicine than white, non-Hispanic youth," Dr. Bruzzese said. "The ASMA program helps teach these children, and inform their caregivers, of the steps they can take to gain control of their symptoms and their treatment program. The cognitive and psychosocial developments of adolescence make this period an ideal time to teach these skills."

The researchers found that, at each follow-up interview, students enrolled in ASMA took significantly more steps to prevent asthma symptoms from occurring and had improved self-confidence in managing their asthma compared to the control group. In addition, at six months, the odds of appropriately using a controller medication were twice as high in the ASMA group, compared to the control group.

Morbidity was also decreased in the ASMA group compared to control. ASMA participants reported a 31 percent reduction in night awakenings and a 42 percent reduction in activity restriction due to asthma, as well as a 28 percent reduction in acute medical visits, a 49 percent reduction in emergency department visits and a 76 percent reduction in hospitalizations compared with controls.

"ASMA addresses an illness with high public health significance and, as such, can serve as a model for other populations of adolescents, including those in rural and suburban communities, or for adolescents with other chronic illnesses," said Dr. Bruzzese.

Schools or districts that lack resources to implement the program may consider partnerships with insurance providers or local medical schools with pediatric pulmonologists or allergists on staff, the researchers noted.

"Adoption of ASMA by schools would contribute to reducing the burden of asthma on adolescents, as well decreasing the health-care burden of the community at large," said Dr. Bruzzese.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207131743.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, December 7). School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207131743.htm
American Thoracic Society. "School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101207131743.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
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