Telehealth to improve asthma control in pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial

AuthorsZairina, E.
Abramson, M.J.
McDonald, C.F.
Li, J.
Dharmasiri, T.
Stewart, K.
Walker, S. P.
Paul, E.
George, J.
TypeJournal Article (Review)
PubMed ID27037722
Year of Publication2016
Download 2016_July_Respirology_Zairina_Telehealth.pdf (604.1 KB)
AbstractBACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy is hazardous for both mother and foetus. Better asthma control may be achieved if patients are involved in regular self-monitoring of symptoms and self-management according to a written asthma action plan. Telehealth applications to optimize asthma management and outcomes in pregnant women have not yet been evaluated. This study evaluated the efficacy of a telehealth programme supported by a handheld respiratory device in improving asthma control during pregnancy. METHODS: Pregnant women with asthma (n = 72) from two antenatal clinics in Melbourne, Australia, were randomized to one of two groups: (i) intervention-involving a telehealth programme (management of asthma with supportive telehealth of respiratory function in pregnancy (MASTERY((c)) )) supported by a handheld respiratory device and an Android smart phone application (Breathe-easy((c)) ) and written asthma action plan or (ii) control-usual care. The primary outcome was change in asthma control at 3 and 6 months (prenatal). Secondary outcomes included changes in quality of life and lung function, and perinatal/neonatal outcomes. RESULTS: At baseline, participants' mean (+/- standard deviation) age was 31.4 +/- 4.5 years and gestational age 16.7 +/- 3.1 weeks. At 6 months, the MASTERY group had better asthma control (P = 0.02) and asthma-related quality of life (P = 0.002) compared with usual care. There were no significant differences between groups in lung function, unscheduled health-care visits, days off work/study, oral corticosteroid use, or perinatal outcomes. Differences between groups were not significant at 3 months. CONCLUSION: Telehealth interventions supporting self-management are feasible and could potentially improve asthma control and asthma-related quality of life during pregnancy.

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