Managing Asthma in Children Via School-Based Telemedicine

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Patients in the telemedicine group were less likely to be hospitalized for asthma compared with the usual care group.
Patients in the telemedicine group were less likely to be hospitalized for asthma compared with the usual care group.

HealthDay News — A School-Based Telemedicine Enhanced Asthma Management (SB-TEAM) program can improve symptoms for children with persistent asthma, according to a study published online in JAMA Pediatrics.

Jill S. Halterman, MD, MPH, from the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving children with persistent asthma aged 3 to 10 years. A total of 400 children were randomly allocated to the SB-TEAM program or enhanced usual care for one school year.

Of the children in the SB-TEAM group, 98% had one or more telemedicine visits and 82.5% received supervised therapy through school. The researchers found that, compared with children in the enhanced usual care group, those in the SB-TEAM group had more symptom-free days per 2 weeks postintervention (11.6 vs 10.97; difference, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.15-1.22; P =.01); the largest difference was seen at final follow-up (difference, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.10-1.59). The likelihood of having an emergency department visit or hospitalization for asthma was lower for children in the SB-TEAM group (7% vs 15%; odds ratio, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.32-0.84).

"The SB-TEAM intervention significantly improved symptoms and reduced health care utilization among urban children with persistent asthma," the authors wrote. "This program could serve as a model for sustainable asthma care among school-aged children."

Reference

Halterman JS, Fagnano M, Tajon RS, et al. Effect of the School-Based Telemedicine Enhanced Asthma Management (SB-TEAM) program on asthma morbidity: a randomized clinical trial [published online January 8, 2018]. JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.4938

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