Most children with asthma use low-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) to control their condition, but for 5–10% of asthmatic children, this is not enough and they need to be treated in hospital.
Between February 2005 and June 2008 researchers from the Royal Brompton Hospital and Imperial College London studied 71 children aged 4.5 to 17.5 years old who had problematic asthma and were being followed up at a tertiary respiratory centre.
A nurse-led hospital visit followed by a home visit looked at allergen exposure (particularly to house dust mite and pets), smoking, adherence to medication and psychosocial issues in the home.
The nurses found that in 79% of the children's cases their home conditions could be improved, thus reducing their asthmatic symptoms. The main problems were ongoing exposure to allergens such as house dust mite (31% of cases); passive or active smoking (25% of cases); poorly managed medication (48% of cases) and psychosocial factors within the families (59% of cases). The nurses suggested ways of improving these conditions with the result that more serious treatment for 55% of these children became unnecessary.
The importance of nurse-led home visits in the assessment of children with problematic asthma. Arch Dis Child 2009; doi 10.1136/adc.2008.152140
More research into rhinitis
First Published October 2009
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