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School-Based Telemedicine Asthma Management Is Effective

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 10, 2018 -- A School-Based Telemedicine Enhanced Asthma Management (SB-TEAM) program can improve symptoms for children with persistent asthma, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Jill S. Halterman, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Rochester in New York, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving children with persistent asthma aged 3 to 10 years. Four hundred 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, 98.0 percent had one or more telemedicine visits and 82.5 percent 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 two weeks postintervention (11.6 versus 10.97; difference, 0.69; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.15 to 1.22; P = 0.01); the largest difference was seen at final follow-up (difference, 0.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.10 to 1.59). The likelihood of having an emergency department visit or hospitalization for asthma was lower for children in the SB-TEAM group (7 versus 15 percent; odds ratio, 0.52; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.32 to 0.84).

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

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Posted: January 2018