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Keywords:

  • adolescents;
  • asthma;
  • e-health;
  • Internet;
  • quality of life;
  • self-management

Abstract

Introduction

Asthma control often is poor in adolescents and this causes considerable morbidity. Internet-based self-management (IBSM) improves asthma-related quality of life in adults. We hypothesized that IBSM improves asthma-related quality of life in adolescents.

Methods

Adolescents (12–18 years) with persistent and not well-controlled asthma participated in a randomized controlled trial with 1 year follow-up and were allocated to IBSM (n = 46) or usual care (UC, n = 44). IBSM consisted of weekly asthma control monitoring with treatment advice by a web-based algorithm. Outcomes included asthma-related quality of life (Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, PAQLQ) and asthma control (Asthma Control Questionnaire, ACQ) and were analyzed by a linear mixed-effects model.

Results

At 3 months, PAQLQ improved with 0.40 points (95% CI: 0.17–0.62, P < 0.01), by IBSM compared to 0.0 points for UC (P = 0.02 for the difference). At 12 months the between-group difference was −0.05 (95% CI: −0.50 to 0.41, P = 0.85). At 3 months ACQ improved more in IBSM than in UC (difference: −0.32 points; 95% CI: −0.56 to −0.079, P < 0.01). At 12 months the difference was −0.05 (95% CI: −0.35 to 0.25, P = 0.75).

Conclusion

IBSM improved asthma-related quality of life and asthma control in adolescents with not well-controlled asthma after 3 months, but not after 12 months. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012; 47:1170–1179. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.