Surprise — educating patients AND doctors improves outcomes

Kids in this study have had significantly fewer attacks of asthma and needed 1/3 less rescue medication (the steroid inhalers that can themselves do some harm long term). It’s nothing exciting–just helping patients and medical people understand the disease better and having “regularly planned scheduled visits with specially trained nurses to help families learn how to anticipate asthma symptoms and to develop skills to better self-manage them.” Key is that doctors also receive education.

What a novel idea for medical treatment–doctors not being mysterious about an illness and acting as if they have all the answers. It’s a great idea for asthma, because stress is a common trigger for this killer disease. So if people can be taught other methods of managing stress, chances are good that at least those episodes can be kept to a minimum.