Online Self-Management Program May Improve Asthma Control
Researchers from the Netherlands studied the benefits of an online self-management program to help people manage their asthma. The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine , found that the addition of an online support program to usual care improved asthma control and lung function.
About the Study
- 63% of Internet users reported symptom-free days in the previous two weeks, compared to 52% of usual care participants.
- Lung function improved by 0.24 L (liters) in the Internet users, compared to a 0.01 L decrease in the usual care group.
- Changes in quality of life were not significant between the two groups.
- Differences in the number of exacerbations between the two groups were not significant.
Due to the nature of this study, participants and researchers could not be
How Does This Affect You?
Like many chronic medical conditions, effective asthma management often involves a complex mix of education, symptom tracking, lifestyle adjustments, and medications. Computer-based programs are well-known for their ability to help people deal effectively with multiple tasks, particularly over time. It is not surprising, therefore, that asthma patients in this study who had access to an online support system gained better control over their symptoms.
Check with your insurance company or medical group to see if they have an asthma support program. Many of their programs offer some support from a medical professional. You can also find online asthma management advice from national and local government websites and national non-profit organizations. Finally, there are some tips and tricks that can only come from other people with asthma. For this, there are several websites that have been created by people with asthma as a place to “meet” and share tips. Finding the right support can help your asthma management plan stay on track and keep you breathing freely.
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
American Lung Association
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (Asthma Action Plan)
Van der Meer V, Bakker MJ, van den Hout WB, et al. Internet based self-management plus education compared with usual care in asthma: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med . 2009 Jul 21;151(2):110.
Last reviewed August 2009 by
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