Internet-based Self-management Programs and Control of Asthma Symptoms: Not Very Effective

From the Annals of Internal Medicine press-release (edited by me):

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that causes episodes of difficult breathing for 22 million Americans. Asthma attacks cause 4,000 deaths a year.

Researchers sought to determine if the Internet could help. They randomly assigned 200 adult asthma patients to either usual care by their doctor or an Internet-based asthma program in addition to usual care.

The Internet-based self-management program included:

- weekly asthma control monitoring and treatment advice
- online group education
- remote Web communication

At 12 months, patients in the Internet group reported improvements in asthma control and lung function compared with patients in the usual care group.

However, the improvements in quality of life were small and the number of asthma attacks did not improve.

References:
Published in the July 21, 2009 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.
Van der Meer V, et al. "Internet-based self-management plus education compared with usual care in asthma" Ann Intern Med 2009; 151: 110-120.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.

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