Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Asthma: Behavioral Treatment
Elizabeth L. McQuaid & Natalie Walders
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that is marked by intermittent and variable periods of breathing difficulty. Individuals with asthma demonstrate hypersensitivity to a range of triggers (e.g., allergens, pollutants, infections, stress) that results in swelling, obstruction, and mucus in the airways. Typical symptoms involve wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing. In recent years, the prevalence, morbidity, and mortality associated with asthma have increased substantially. This rise has been particularly pronounced among ethnic minorities, inner-city communities, and low-income populations. Despite considerable medical advances that have improved the understanding of asthma and enhanced the ability to effectively treat this chronic condition, asthma remains a leading cause of health care utilization and costs. One explanation for the persistent morbidity associated with asthma involves the behavioral challenges inherent in effectively managing the chronic condition. For instance, widespread nonadherence to asthma medications has been documented among adult and pediatric patients, with patients ...