Telephone Coaches Improve Children’s Asthma Treatment
St. Louis, MO - Managing childhood asthma is difficult. Rather than giving daily medications — even when children feel well — many parents treat asthma only when symptoms become severe. This practice can lead to missed school days, trips to the ER and hospitalizations. But a novel program at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that peer trainers who coach parents over the phone on managing their children’s asthma can sharply reduce the number of days the kids experience symptoms. The program also dramatically decreased ER visits and hospitalizations among low-income children with Medicaid insurance.
“We tried a new approach for managing asthma, and it worked,” said the study’s first author Jane Garbutt, MD, a professor of medicine. “Peer trainers — moms of kids who had asthma — provided education and support to parents to enhance care provided by primary care physicians. This additional support helped parents to better manage their child’s asthma.”
The results of the study are available online in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children. On average, one in 10 children in the United States has asthma. The condition is more common in urban, low-income areas. In the city of St. Louis, one in five children has asthma. Continue>
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