Tailored, Web-Based Asthma Education Proves Effective Among Black Youth in Managing Condition, Study Says
Black youth who participated in a specially designed Web-based asthma education program fared better in managing their conditions than those who were directed to other asthma Web sites, according to a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory & Critical Care Medicine, Reuters Health reports.
For the report, researcher Christine Joseph, an epidemiologist in the Henry Ford Health System, and colleagues used school computers at six Detroit high schools to offer a Web-based program specifically designed to address common asthma-related issues among teenagers, such as adhering to medication regimens, limiting wheezing attacks and not smoking.
After 12 months, the 162 participants reported fewer asthma-related symptoms, missed school days and hospitalizations than those who were directed to existing asthma Web sites.
Researchers suggested that school districts could adopt the program as long as they had computers with certain standard features. Schools also could employ program coordinators to refer children or parents to care providers or to help them obtain medications.
Joseph said researchers hope to improve the program's content, tailoring it to individual patients' needs, beliefs and attitudes (Norton, Reuters Health, 5/1).
The study is available online.