Asthma education and monitoring: what has been shown to work

Paediatr Respir Rev. 2008 Sep;9(3):193-9; quiz 199-200. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2008.03.001. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


Cochrane systematic reviews and meta-analyses on education and monitoring of asthmatic children have come to divergent conclusions, mainly because of the heterogeneity of education programmes and patients. There is little doubt that education is useful. However, the useful components of the education programmes remain to be elucidated, not only by randomized controlled trials but also by observational studies performed within distinct asthma phenotypes. Any education and monitoring package needs to contain basic explanation about the disease and its influencing factors, as well as inhalation instructions. There is no good evidence to justify home monitoring of lung function; symptom monitoring suffices. Probably, the crucial part of asthma education programmes is a high level of agreement between patient and doctor regarding the goals of the treatment (patient-doctor partnership). Therefore, further exploration of the patient's needs should be worthwhile.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Physician-Patient Relations*