Treating asthma: A quantitative assessment of the traditional and alternative treatments of asthma among college-aged men and women
Lidicker, Gretchen Amanda
DeMaria, Andrea L.
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Asthma is an incurable disease affecting one in twelve adults, about eighteen million men and women in the United States alone. There are many traditional and alternative treatments for asthma; however, the gap between treatment options is variable. There is a great need for more information related to holistic asthma treatments, including what has brought the most success in controlling short- and long-term symptoms. The purpose of this study was to investigate asthma treatment, including: traditional treatment, lifestyle changes, and various alternative therapies. Data were retrieved from men and women between the ages of 18 and 25. The majority of participants were students at the College of Charleston, an urban, public, mid-sized university in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. The sample population included only participants who have been diagnosed with asthma at some point by a medical doctor and would currently consider themselves asthmatics. Participants completed a cross-sectional, self-administered webbased survey. The survey included basic demographic questions, and items related each participant’s individual asthma experiences, including in-depth questions about: overall health, food allergies and sensitivities, and use of traditional and alternative treatments. This study provides significant insight into the reality of asthma patients and the complex web and triggers, 3 symptoms, causes and treatments associated with the disease. Overall, the participants selfreported their asthma being well controlled, experiencing the typical triggers, and taking standard medications. More than 80.0% (n=111) of the participants had tried some kind alternative or lifestyle treatment for their asthma. The most common alternative or lifestyle treatments were exercise, breathing techniques, and air purifiers or filters. Results indicate that patients are often taking a holistic approach to their asthma care and treatment. There is a great need for more information related to holistic asthma treatments, including what has brought the most success in controlling symptoms and a focus on each individual patient.