Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Program could help teens control asthma

09.03.2010
An asthma program specifically tailored to teens could help those in rural areas manage their disease and avoid potentially fatal complications, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Black males have a death rate from asthma that is six times greater than their white counterparts, and Dr. Dennis Ownby, chief in the MCG School of Medicine Section of Allergy and Immunology, believes asthma rates are as bad in rural areas as they are in inner cities.

"The prevalence is probably the same in rural areas," he said. "But teens from those areas already face a number of other problems that can complicate their disease – poor housing quality, air pollution, more trouble getting to doctors and smaller, less-equipped hospitals."

Forgetting to take medications or carry rescue inhalers only exacerbates the problem, as does exposure to tobacco – either from smoking or second-hand smoke. Dr. Ownby said previous studies have shown smoking is more prevalent in rural areas than inner-cities.

He and other researchers think that Puff City, a culturally-tailored intervention program aimed at three key areas – reduction of tobacco exposure, adherence to medication and attack readiness – could help at-risk teens better manage their asthma.

Over the next three years, with $2.1 million in funding from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, Drs. Ownby and Martha Tingen, a nurse researcher at the Georgia Prevention Institute, will work with 300 Ninth- to 11th-graders with asthma from Burke, Jefferson and McDuffie counties. Half of the teens will be exposed to traditional educational asthma Web sites; the other half will use Puff City.

Developed and tested by Christine Joseph, an epidemiologist at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Puff City uses a "hip" character known as DJ Puffman to reach teens through a multi-session, Web-based program. Each time students log on, the character gives advice that is individually tailored to each student's asthma condition based on previously provided information about how the student already deals with the disease.

"The program really comes alive for them," Dr. Tingen said. "It may ask a question, for instance, about how they can best remember to take their medication, maybe by placing it next to their cell phone at night. The next time they log in to the program, DJ Puffman will ask how that strategy is working for them."

In each group, teens receive four computerized asthma management sessions that are accessed on computers at school. Users also can problem solve asthma-management issues and hear educational information on the disease.

The program has already proven useful in other populations. Teens in inner-city Detroit, where it was originally tested, made 50 percent fewer visits to emergency departments, required 50 percent fewer hospitalizations and had 60 percent fewer school absences.

The disease, which affects more than 300 million people worldwide, is a chronic inflammation that causes a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. Those narrowings – commonly called asthma attacks – cause more than 4,000 deaths each year in the United States alone, according to the American Lung Association.

If the program proves to be successful with rural Georgia teens, Puff City could be one way to lessen the burden of a disease that is the third most expensive to Georgia taxpayers.

"We are hoping that this is a program that can be easily disseminated world-wide at a relatively low cost," Dr. Tingen said.

Jennifer Hilliard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mcg.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

20.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>