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School-based program effective in helping adolescents
Date:12/8/2010

(New York, December 8, 2010) A school-based intervention program helped New York City high school students with moderate to severe asthma better manage their symptoms, dramatically reducing the need for urgent care, including hospitalizations and emergency room visits, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Students in the eight-week program reported a 28% reduction in acute medical visits, a 49% reduction in emergency department visits, and a 76% reduction in hospitalizations compared with asthmatic students who did not participate in the program. The program participants also experienced a 31% reduction in night awakenings, and a 42% reduction in activity restriction due to asthma, according to the study.

"The program helps teach adolescents the steps they can take to gain control of their symptoms, and learn about treatment options," says co-author Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD, assistant professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at NYU Langone Medical Center. "We found that it was effective in improving asthma self-management, reducing night wakening due to symptoms and the need for urgent healthcare in low-income, urban minority adolescents," she says.

The intensive program, called the Asthma Self-Management for Adolescents (ASMA), helped adolescents learn key facts about their disease, dispelled myths about medication, and showed how to better manage asthma using medication and controlling environmental triggers, according to the study.

Asthma affects some 6.7 million children in the United States. The respiratory disease, which causes narrowing of the lung's airways leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms, can result in school absences and lost classroom time. Research has shown that adolescents are less likely to receive regular medical care compared to younger children, and minority adolescents are less likely to use prev
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Contact: Lorinda Klein
lorindaann.klein@nyumc.org
212-404-3533
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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