An online self-management tool for people with asthma has been shown to significantly improve their ability to reduce their symptoms. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Respiratory Research tested the system in 200 adults with asthma, finding significant effects in those whose asthma was either partly controlled or uncontrolled at the beginning of the trial.
Victor van der Meer worked with a team of researchers from Leiden University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, to carry out the trial. He said, "The improvements in asthma control scores for patients with partly or uncontrolled asthma at baseline suggest a significant reduction of current asthma symptoms. Future asthma treatment strategies should incorporate continuous self-monitoring, as demonstrated here."
Participants in the researchers' system were trained to measure their own lung function and input the results, either by a web application or text message. The web site then suggests personalized advice on how to adjust treatment and presents a graphical representation of how they are progressing. According to van der Meer, "This asthma action plan is one of few that not only specifies action points to increase treatment but also to decrease it, which provides the possibility to tailor medication to individual needs. All control level groups showed a similar pattern of pharmacological therapy over time: an increase in inhaled corticosteroids in the first three months, followed by a decrease in the next 9 months".
Patients adhered to the system well, with around an 80% participation rate in the first three months, decreasing to 60% by the end of the trial. This reflects the reduced need for monitoring once control of the disease has been achieved.
Notes to Editors
1. Weekly self-monitoring and treatment adjustment benefit patients with partly controlled and uncontrolled asthma: an analysis of the SMASHING study
Victor Van der Meer, Henk F Van Stel, Moira J Bakker, Albert C Roldaan, Willem JJ Assendelft, Peter J Sterk, Klaus F Rabe, Jacob K Sont and Smashing Study Group
Respiratory Research (in press)
During embargo, article available here: http://respiratory-research.com/imedia/7208160123500953_article.pdf?random=574918
After the embargo, article available at the journal website: http://respiratory-research.com/
Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central's open access policy.
Article citation and URL available on request at email@example.com on the day of publication.
2. Respiratory Research is an Open Access, peer-reviewed, online journal that considers manuscripts on all aspects of respiratory function and disease.
3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.