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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2005 Sep;6(3):215-26.

Educational interventions--computers for delivering education to children with respiratory illness and to their parents.

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School of Nursing, University of Nottingham, B Floor Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK.


Educational interventions for children with asthma can result in both clinical and psychological improvements. However, traditional education programs have been hampered by lack of resources and doubts concerning long-term benefits. Researchers have looked to computer technology to overcome some of these obstacles and respiratory conditions have been the focus for a number of educational computer programs. Computer education packages should have a robust theoretical basis. Many programs aim to improve children's confidence, self-esteem and feelings of control, all of which are linked to compliance and positive health behaviours. The specific skills and knowledge needed for effective self-management also need to be taught in order to equip the child for future independent self-care. Programs tend to be either a stand-alone game, promoting self-regulation and practicing of skills, or an internet-enabled package, which may provide a link to their healthcare provider and/or other people with a similar condition. Computer technology is flexible, can be tailored to individuals' information needs, provides ongoing educational support and promotes active learning. However, there can be problems around accessibility, both in terms of computer ownership and technological literacy. Furthermore, internet sites are largely unregulated and of variable quality. It is essential that educational computer interventions are evidence-based and rigorously evaluated to identify who will benefit most from these packages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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