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Nurse Intervention Doesn't Curb Asthma Symptoms

Long-term benefits limited in terms of symptom control, physical functioning or mental health

TUESDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- A nurse-led psychoeducational program designed to help patients with asthma cope with and manage their disease does not offer significant advantages in the long run, according to a study published in the December issue of Thorax.

Jane R. Smith and colleagues at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., conducted a randomized, controlled trial of 92 adults with asthma who had a history of poor attendance at clinic appointments. Patients in the study group received home visits by a specially trained nurse for assessment and instruction in disease management. Controls received usual care through hospital-based clinics.

After six months of intervention, there were no significant differences between the groups in mean symptom control, physical functioning or mental health scores.

Patients receiving the intervention showed "small effects on asthma-specific quality of life up to 12 months and short-term effects on generic health status, which mirrored improvements in aspects of self-care observed at the end of the intensive phase of the intervention," the researchers write, but these differences were "apparent only from fully adjusted analyses."

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