Effective education of adults with asthma who are allergic to dust mites

Karen Huss, Edward N. Squire, Gary B. Carpenter, Laurie J. Smith, Richard W. Huss, Kalman Salata, Maria Salerno, Damien Agostinelli, Joyce Hershey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The effects of supplementary computer instruction in house dust mite-avoidance measures on adherence to implementing measures, on home dust mite-allergen levels, and on symptomatology were investigated in 52 adult patients with mite-associated asthma. Twenty-six patients received conventional instruction (counseling and written instruction) and the other 26 patients received conventional plus 22 minutes of interactive computer-assisted instruction. Instructions were aimed at mite-avoidance measures. Pre- and postinstruction dust samples were collected, and adherence was monitored. All patients kept symptom diaries twice a day. Patients' progress was followed for 12 weeks, and all patients completed the study. Adherence, number of observed and self-reported mite-avoidance measures implemented after visit, was higher for the computer group (p = 0.023). The computer-instructed group achieved significantly lower levels of mite allergen in bedroom carpets (p = 0.004) with mean levels of mite allergen declining from 6.5 ± 7.6 to 2.2 ± 4.3 μg/gm of dust (two-site monoclonal antibody assays), whereas levels for the conventional-instructed group did not change. Moreover, by study weeks 9 and 10, the computer-instructed group was significantly less symptomatic (p = 0.033). Mean symptom scores for this group decreased from 12.4 to 7.7, compared with 16.4 to 14.3. Conventional instruction supplemented with computer instruction is suggested in mite education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)836-843
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of allergy and clinical immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • adherence
  • allergen
  • asthma
  • avoidance
  • computer
  • environment
  • home visits
  • mite allergy
  • symptomatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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