• asthma;
  • complementary therapies;
  • systematic reviews

Roberston-Malt S. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 208–219 Non-medical management of asthma in adults

Overview of reviews, compiling evidence from multiple Cochrane reviews into one accessible and usable document, is a new methodology being developed by the Cochrane methods group and mastered by the Child Health Network. Overviews of reviews are rapidly gaining in popularity as a ‘friendly front end’ to the Cochrane Library. Through collating the results of multiple reviews on a single subject, overview of reviews provides the reader with a quick bottom line regarding the quality and utility of existing evidence on the clinical decision at hand. This overview presents a summary of the results of all previous Cochrane reviews on the effect of complementary therapies (non-medical) for the treatment of asthma in adults. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was searched for all systematic reviews examining the complementary therapies (non-medical) treatment of asthma in adults. All reviews that were under the heading ‘asthma’ on the Cochrane Airways Group's Topic List were reviewed. Data were extracted and entered into tables; data were synthesized using qualitative and quantitative methods. Currently, twenty-three (23) reviews are published in the CDSR related to non-medical interventions for the management of asthma in adults. The known complexities associated with measuring the effect of complementary therapies resulted in all reviews being unable to find studies which—at least in the form reported—had the strenth of evidence that could be generalized beyond the variables of the specific trial.