Asthma education

Respir Med. 2003 Sep;97(9):1036-44. doi: 10.1016/s0954-6111(03)00134-3.


Education about asthma and self-management of asthma are now key recommendations of asthma management guidelines. A Cochrane systematic review of 12 RCTs found that limited education programmes that offer information about asthma but not self-management skills did not reduce hospitalisation rates or visits to the doctor for asthma. The positive outcomes from limited asthma education were a reduction in symptoms. Asthma self-management education which consists of information, self-monitoring, regular medical review, and a written action plan is effective and leads to a reduction in hospitalisation and ER visits for asthma, unscheduled doctors visits, days lost from work, episodes of nocturnal asthma, indirect costs and an improvement in quality of life. The effects were large enough to be of both clinical and statistical significance. While a structured asthma self-management programme is effective in a hospital setting, attempts to deliver these programmes in primary care have met with varying success.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Primary Health Care
  • Self Care
  • Teaching Materials