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

ents 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.


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

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