Technology-Based Interventions for Asthma-Can They Help Decrease Health Disparities?

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract


Asthma is a condition that has consistently demonstrated significant health outcome inequalities for minority populations. One approach used for care of patients with asthma is the incorporation of technology for behavioral modification, symptom monitoring, education, and/or treatment decision making. Whether such technological interventions can improve the care of black and inner-city patients is unknown. We reviewed all randomized controlled trial technological interventions from 2000 to 2015 performed in minority populations. A total of 16 articles met inclusion and exclusion criteria; all but 1 was performed in a childhood or adolescent age group. The interventions used MPEG audio layer-3 players, text messaging, computer/Web-based systems, video games, and interactive voice response. Many used tailored content and/or a specific behavior theory. Although the interventions were based on technology, most required additional special staffing. Subject user satisfaction was positive, and improvements were noted in asthma knowledge, medication adherence, asthma symptoms, and quality of life. Unfortunately, health care utilization (emergency department visits and/or hospitalizations) was typically not improved by the interventions. Although no single intervention modality was vastly superior, the computer-based interventions appeared to have the most positive results. In summary, technology-based interventions have a high level of user satisfaction among minority and urban/low-income individuals with asthma, and can improve asthma outcomes. Further large-scale studies are needed to assess whether such interventions can decrease health disparities in asthma.

Medical Subject Headings

Asthma; Health Status Disparities; Humans; Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic; Technology

PubMed ID






First Page


Last Page