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Open Access A review of adult asthma and the effectiveness of education programs in reducing symptoms

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Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs in children and adults. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) recommends asthma self-management education to be essential in providing patients with the skills necessary to control asthma and improve outcomes. A number of studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of these educational programs in children; however, such studies have not demonstrated efficacy in adult populations. This review explores the epidemiology of asthma, the different categories of asthma based on demographic differences, and environmental triggers of asthma. We also discuss common medical options that are available to treat asthma. We then describe the components of an asthma education program and the effectiveness in improving patient outcomes. The literature review was conducted using the National Library of Medicine Pub Med search engine. Comprehensive reviews were focused on the English literature involving human subjects in the last 5 years. Randomized controlled trials were selected for a citation on each subject when available. The Expert Panel Report 3 (EPR-3; Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma ‐ Report 2007) was used as the primary reference source for standard of care treatment guidelines. Search terms included asthma, motivational interviewing, irritant-induced asthma, asthma education, home intervention, telemedicine, nitric oxide, asthma action plan, occupational asthma, IgE-mediated asthma, asthma guidelines, asthma prevalence, and asthma treatment.

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Keywords: Asthma; asthma education; home intervention; irritant-induced asthma; occupational asthma

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2015

This article was made available online on 29 June 2015 as a Fast Track article with title: "A review of adult asthma and the effectiveness of education programs in reducing symptoms".

More about this publication?
  • Family Medicine and Community Health (FMCH) is an open-access journal focusing on subjects that are common and relevant to family medicine/general practice and community health. The journal publishes relevant content across disciplines such as epidemiology, public health, social and preventive medicine, research and evidence based medicine, community health service, patient education and health promotion and health ethics. The journal has a specific focus on the management of chronic illness particularly diabetes, ischaemic heart disease, chronic heart failure, hypertension, bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive airways disease and common mental illness. FMCH is published by Compuscript on behalf of the Chinese General Practice Press

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