Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Effective public health intervention for asthma: A literature review

Nurmawati Ahmad*, Aniza Ismail*, Saperi Sulong**

*Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia, **Department Of Health Information, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur


Introduction: Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease increasingly prevalent worldwide, particularly among children and certain minority groups. This literature 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.

Method: Five databases were searched through September 2014, 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.

Results: Data analysis was conducted from May to September 2014. Of 40 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 fıve 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 insuffıcient evidence because of study limitations.

Conclusion: Public health 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

Keywords: asthma, review, intervention