Research: YORKE and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 149


YORKE and colleagues, Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Trust, Sydney Street, London, United Kingdom, have reviewed (48 references) psychological interventions in children with asthma.


Psychological factors may influence the symptoms and management of asthma in children in many ways. It is, therefore, suggested that psychological interventions may be appropriate for this population. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review assessing the efficacy of psychological interventions in improving health outcomes for children with asthma.


A review of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT) was designed. RCTs assessing the effects of a psychological intervention in child participants were included in the review. Outcome measures included healthcare utilization, lung function, asthma symptoms, and psychological health status.


12 studies, involving 588 children, were included in the review; however, study quality was poor and sample sizes were frequently small. A meta-analysis was performed on two studies, examining the effects of relaxation therapy on peak expiratory flow rate which favoured the treatment group (SD 0.82, CI 0.41-1.24). No other meta-analysis could be performed due to the diversity of interventions and the outcomes assessed. In addition, many studies reported insufficient data.


This review was unable to draw firm conclusions for the role of psychological interventions for children with asthma. The authors recommend that valid outcome measures for evaluating the effectiveness of psychological interventions for children with asthma need to address adjustment to and coping with asthma, as well as other psychological indicators.


Yorke J, Fleming SL, Shuldham C. A systematic review of psychological interventions for children with asthma. Pediatric Pulmonology 42 (2): 114-124, Feb 2007.

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