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J Asthma. 2001 May;38(3):269-78.

Can asthma education improve clinical outcomes? An evaluation of a pediatric asthma education program.

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  • 1The University of Melbourne, Australia.


Asthma is a common, costly, and chronic disease that has a significant impact on children, their families, and the health care system. This study investigated whether formal asthma education can reduce asthma severity and morbidity and further questioned whether the method of education is an important factor in this process. Study subjects were recruited from the emergency department of the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne (RCHM), and controls were recruited from the neighboring Western Hospital, Sunshine (WHS). Subject parents were randomized to receive face-to-face education, group education, or home-based video education. Controls had similar medical treatment but received no formal asthma education. Subject and control parents were asked to complete questionnaires before the intervention and at 1, 6, and 12 months. These questionnaires measured demographics, the levels of parent asthma knowledge, anxiety, child asthma severity, and morbidity. Results showed that any method of education increased parent asthma knowledge and immediately decreased their anxiety and child asthma morbidity scores. Despite this, asthma severity was reduced only when knowledge was imparted in an interactive, face-to-face setting. When this happened, asthma severity scores were significantly reduced in both the short- and long-term. These findings call into question mass asthma education campaigns and have important implications for the design of future asthma education programs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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