Study designs of evaluations included in the review
There were no specific inclusion criteria relating to the study design. The study designs included in the review were prospective trials, descriptive paper, retrospective studies and surveys. This abstract focuses on the results of the prospective trials.
Specific interventions included in the review
Studies evaluating a computer-based intervention or application were eligible for inclusion. Computer-augmented asthma care was defined as diagnosis or detection systems, applications for the prevention and monitoring of symptoms and outcomes, decision support tools, and patient-centred education tools. The included prospective trials evaluated a range of computer-based interventions, including computer-assisted instruction, computerised decision support systems, guidelines for aminophylline dosing and out-patient asthma care.
Participants included in the review
Studies of people with asthma were eligible for inclusion. The studies recruited paediatric or adult populations; no further details of the participants were provided. Most prospective studies were conducted in out-patient settings.
Outcomes assessed in the review
There were no specific inclusion criteria relating to the outcomes. The outcomes were classified as clinical (e.g. hospitalisation rates, vaccination rates, need for rescue medication) or non-clinical (e.g. dust mite prevention measures and patient knowledge).
How were decisions on the relevance of primary studies made?
Two reviewers independently selected studies for inclusion, with any differences resolved by consensus.