Psychologist can help improve asthma symptoms

9 September 2014

A new report has found that psychological input into the treatment and management of asthma patients can improve their symptoms.

According to a new study, presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) International Congress in Munich, around a quarter (27 per cent) of people with severe asthma can experience psychological problems, but this is not addressed as standard by healthcare professionals.

However, the new research suggests that severe asthma symptoms could be improved when the patient's psychological needs are addressed. The team from the University Hospital Southampton had 13 people with a psychological illness who had been admitted at least twice alongside an admission to hospital with an asthma exacerbation two or more times in the last 12 months.

Each patient was monitored for admissions to hospital and days in hospital in the six months before input from the psychologist and in the six months afterwards. It found that, prior to the appointments, the group totalled 19 asthma admissions to hospital and 159 days in hospital. After psychological support, these totals decreased to ten admissions and 93 days in hospital, signalling a 42 per cent reduction in hospital days over six months.

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

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