School-supervised asthma therapy improves control
New research suggests that adherence with daily asthma “controller” medications among children with asthma can be enhanced with school-based supervised asthma therapy.
As reported in the February issue of the journal Pediatrics, researchers assessed asthma control in 290 children from 36 schools who were randomized to receive school-based, supervised therapy or usual care.
For their study, Dr. Lynn B. Gerald and colleagues from the University of Alabama, Birmingham defined poor asthma control as at least one of the following: 1) absence from school due to asthma or respiratory illness, 2) average use of “rescue” asthma medication more than 2 times per week, or 3) at least 1 red or yellow reading on a peak flow meter, a device that measures air flow.
According to the researchers, no change in asthma control was seen in children in the control group during the 15-month follow-up period.
For the group privy to supervised asthma therapy at school, however, the likelihood of poor asthma control was 57 percent higher during the period before the study than during the follow-up period, indicating that supervised asthma therapy had a marked impact on their asthma symptoms.
“Once-daily supervised asthma therapy is a simple intervention that improves asthma control,” Gerald and colleagues conclude.
Doctors who have children with poorly controlled asthma possibly due to nonadherence to controller medication “should consider coordinating supervised therapy with the parent and the child’s school,” they conclude.
SOURCE: Pediatrics, February 2009.
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