Telehealth to improve asthma control in pregnancy: A randomized controlled trial

Elida Zairina, Michael J. Abramson, Christine F. McDonald, Jonathan Li, Thanuja Dharmasiri, Kay Stewart, Susan P. Walker, Eldho Paul, Johnson George

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

80 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objective: Poorly controlled asthma during pregnancy is hazardous for both mother and foetus. Better asthma control may be achieved if patients are involved in regular self-monitoring of symptoms and self-management according to a written asthma action plan. Telehealth applications to optimize asthma management and outcomes in pregnant women have not yet been evaluated. This study evaluated the efficacy of a telehealth programme supported by a handheld respiratory device in improving asthma control during pregnancy. Methods: Pregnant women with asthma (n = 72) from two antenatal clinics in Melbourne, Australia, were randomized to one of two groups: (i) intervention—involving a telehealth programme (management of asthma with supportive telehealth of respiratory function in pregnancy (MASTERY©)) supported by a handheld respiratory device and an Android smart phone application (Breathe-easy©) and written asthma action plan or (ii) control—usual care. The primary outcome was change in asthma control at 3 and 6 months (prenatal). Secondary outcomes included changes in quality of life and lung function, and perinatal/neonatal outcomes. Results: At baseline, participants' mean (± standard deviation) age was 31.4 ± 4.5 years and gestational age 16.7 ± 3.1 weeks. At 6 months, the MASTERY group had better asthma control (P = 0.02) and asthma-related quality of life (P = 0.002) compared with usual care. There were no significant differences between groups in lung function, unscheduled health-care visits, days off work/study, oral corticosteroid use, or perinatal outcomes. Differences between groups were not significant at 3 months. Conclusion: Telehealth interventions supporting self-management are feasible and could potentially improve asthma control and asthma-related quality of life during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)867-874
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Asthma control
  • Pregnant women
  • Quality of life
  • Telehealth

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