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NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2018 Feb 15;28(1):5. doi: 10.1038/s41533-017-0070-6.

Interventions to enhance the adoption of asthma self-management behaviour in the South Asian and African American population: a systematic review.

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Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Blizard Institue Queen Mary University London, London, UK.
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Blizard Institue Queen Mary University London, London, UK.
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research, Usher Institute of Population Health Sciences and Informatics, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.


South Asian and other minority communities suffer poorer asthma outcomes, have a higher rate of unscheduled care and benefit less from most existing self-management interventions when compared to the majority population. Possible reasons for these differences include failure to implement asthma self-management strategies, or that strategies implemented were inappropriate for their needs; alternatively, they may relate to the minority and/or lower socioeconomic status of these populations. We aimed to synthesise evidence from randomised controlled trials for asthma self-management in South Asian and Black populations from different sociocultural contexts, and identify barriers and facilitators to implementing self-management. We systematically searched eight electronic databases, and research registers, and manually searched relevant journals and reference lists of reviews. Seventeen trials met the inclusion criteria and were analysed narratively. We found two culturally targeted interventions compared to fifteen culturally modified interventions. Interventions used diverse self-management strategies; education formed a central component. Interventions in South Asian and African-American minority communities were less effective than interventions delivered in indigenous populations in South Asia, though the latter trials were at higher risk of bias. Education, with continuous professional support, was common to most interventions. Facilitators to asthma self-management included: ensuring culturally/linguistically appropriate education, adapting to learning styles, addressing daily stressors/social support and generic self-management strategies. In conclusion, when developing and evaluating self-management interventions aimed at different cultures, the influence of sociocultural contexts (including whether patients are from a minority or indigenous population) can be important for the conceptualisation of culture and customisation of self-management strategies.

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