Culture-specific programmes for minority groups who have asthma improve some outcomes

Clinical question: 
How effective are culture-specific programmes for children and adults from minority groups who have asthma?
Bottom line: 
Compared to generic asthma programmes or usual care, culture-specific programmes for children and adults from minority groups who have asthma are more effective in improving quality of life in adults and asthma knowledge in children. These programmes did not improve or significantly affect clinical outcomes including rates of hospital admission, emergency department presentations and need for oral corticosteroids.
Caveat: 
There was insufficient data to be confident about the impact on the rate of exacerbations, or whether culture-specific programmes are beneficial in all settings. The evidence is limited by the small number of eligible studies and the lack of reported outcomes.
Context: 
People with asthma who come from minority groups have poorer outcomes and more asthma related visits to emergency departments. Various programmes are used to educate and empower people with asthma, and these have been shown to improve certain asthma outcomes, such as quality of life, lung function measurements and hospital admissions. Models of care for chronic diseases in minority groups usually include a focus on the cultural context of the individual, and not just the symptoms of the disease.
Review CD#: 
CD006580
PEARLS No: 
92
Date: 
July, 2008
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy