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Self-management of asthma at school improves outcomes :

March 17, 2020

When equipped with self-management interventions, students with asthma have reduced hospitalizations and emergency department visits, according to a recommendation developed by an independent, nonfederal panel of public health and prevention experts.

School-based self-management interventions can teach students with asthma to recognize and manage asthma symptoms, use medications and inhalers properly, and avoid asthma triggers, according to the Community Preventive Services Task Force.

Task force members were appointed by the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The group developed asthma interventions after meta-analysis of evidence from 19 studies from a 2019 systematic review.

Among task force findings was a reduction in asthma-related emergency department visits, hospitalizations and unplanned visits to a medical provider when school-based self-management interventions were used. Students also reported an increase in asthma-related quality of life. Studies of all-cause school absences showed mixed results.

Of the studies that examined intervention effects on asthma control outcomes, students in self-management intervention groups reported less need for asthma reliever medications and had fewer activity limitations. They had little to no change in self-reported day- or nighttime symptoms or measures of lung function.

Pediatricians can access resources on the task force website to help the nurses, teachers, educators and students in their communities implement these interventions. Visit

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