Behavioral interventions for asthma self-management in South Asian populations: a systematic review.
Lee C., Alexander E., Lee R., Okorocha N., Manikam L., Lakhanpaul M.
Objective: Asthma outcomes are significantly worse for minority groups, including South Asians (SAs), in high-income settings. Despite this, comparatively few existing studies have focused on SAs when studying the effectiveness of behavioral interventions on asthma self-management, and no prior study has synthesized these findings. We review the effectiveness of behavioral interventions on asthma management in adults and children of SA origin across low- (LICs), middle- (MICs), and high-income countries (HICs). Methods: Data sources included EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library and Trial registries: WHO, ICTRP and ClinicalTrials.gov. Eligibility criteria: randomized controlled trials (RCTs), quasi-RCTs and non-RCTs (controlled before-after [CBA] studies), published in English, with no publication year or country restrictions in adults and children of South Asian origin. Exclusion criteria: those focusing solely on pharmacological interventions. Search terms were "asthma" and "South Asian". Results: We included 33 studies, 27 from MICs and 6 from HICs (education [n = 10], self-management plans [n = 6], yoga/breathing exercises [n = 10]) organizational interventions [n =1], diet therapy [n = 1] and combined interventions [n = 5]). Outcome measures included: blood biochemistry, lung function, healthcare utilization and quality of life. A meta-analysis was not performed due to significant study heterogeneity. Conclusion: Behavioral interventions for asthma management in SAs are effective. Educational interventions that aim to optimize asthma knowledge, control, and inhaler technique, and yoga/breathing exercises are most effective for improved long-term outcomes in adults and children across LICs and MICs. Further research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of all behavioral interventions for SAs in HICs to better inform current guidance by policy makers and health care providers.