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

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

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