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School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma
Date:12/7/2010

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 as
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Contact: Brian Kell
bkell@thoracic.org
212-315-6442
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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