JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, P.H.S.
REVIEW
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Public health interventions for asthma: an umbrella review, 1990-2010.

CONTEXT: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease increasingly prevalent in the U.S., particularly among children and certain minority groups. This umbrella review sought to assess and summarize existing systematic reviews of asthma-related interventions that might be carried out or supported by state or community asthma control programs, and to identify gaps in knowledge.

EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: Eleven databases were searched through September 2010, using terms related to four concepts: asthma, review, intervention, and NOT medication. Reviews of the effectiveness of medications, medical procedures, complementary and alternative medicine, psychological interventions, family therapy, and nutrients or nutritional supplements were excluded. Two coders screened each record and extracted data from the included reviews.

EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: Data analysis was conducted from May to December 2010. Of 42 included reviews, 19 assessed the effectiveness of education and/or self-management, nine the reduction of indoor triggers, nine interventions to improve the provision of health care, and five examined other interventions. Several reviews found consistent evidence of effectiveness for self-management education, and one review determined that comprehensive home-based interventions including the reduction of multiple indoor asthma triggers are effective for children. Other reviews found limited or insufficient evidence because of study limitations.

CONCLUSIONS: State or community asthma control programs should prioritize (1) implementing interventions for which the present review found evidence of effectiveness and (2) evaluating promising interventions that have not yet been adequately assessed.

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