Effect of relaxation-breathing training on anxiety and asthma signs/symptoms of children with moderate-to-severe asthma: a randomized controlled trial.Int J Nurs Stud 2009; 46(8):1061-70IJ
Emotional stress triggers and exacerbates asthma in children. Reducing anxiety in adults by relaxation-breathing techniques has been shown in clinical trials to produce good asthma outcomes. However, more evidence is needed on using this intervention with asthmatic children.
To evaluate the effectiveness of combined self-management and relaxation-breathing training for children with moderate-to-severe asthma compared to self-management-only training.
Two-group experimental design.
SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS
Pediatric outpatient clinic of a medical center in central Taiwan. Participants were 48 children, ages 6-14 years, with moderate-to-severe asthma and their parents.
Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental or comparison group and matched by gender, age, and asthma severity. Both groups participated in an asthma self-management program. Children in the experimental group were also given 30 min of training in a relaxation-breathing technique and a CD for home practice. Data on anxiety levels, self-perceived health status, asthma signs/symptoms, peak expiratory flow rate, and medication use were collected at baseline and at the end of the 12-week intervention. Effects of group, time, and group-time interaction were analyzed using the Mixed Model in SPSS (12.0).
Anxiety (especially state anxiety) was significantly lower for children in the experimental group than in the comparison group. Differences in the other four physiological variables were also noted between pre- and post-intervention, but these changes did not differ significantly between groups.
A combination of self-management and relaxation-breathing training can reduce anxiety, thus improving asthmatic children's health. These results can serve as an evidence base for psychological nursing practice with asthmatic children.