Planning Ahead Helps Control Asthma in Children

Emergencies less likely if parents monitor symptoms steadily, study finds

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MONDAY, Sept. 6, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Asthma symptoms and the need for emergency medications can be greatly reduced by using a "planned-care method" for asthma in children.

So says a Northwestern University study in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

This approach involves regularly scheduled visits with specially trained nurses to help families learn how to anticipate asthma symptoms and to better manage those symptoms. The approach also involves extra asthma management education for doctors treating children with asthma.

"Our research shows that we can improve children's asthma by doing a better job of organizing their routine care," principal investigator Dr. Kevin Weiss, a professor of medicine and director of the Center for Healthcare Studies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.

The study included 638 children, aged 3 to 17, who received asthma care. After two years, the children receiving planned-care had 13 fewer days of symptoms per year and needed a third less medication, such as a steroid inhaler, than children who received usual asthma care.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about asthma.

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Sept. 6, 2004

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