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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


eISSN: 1643-3750

WeChat Public Account Use Improves Clinical Control of Cough-Variant Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Yuan Cao, Shi-Hua Lin, Ding Zhu, Feng Xu, Zhi-Hua Chen, Hua-Hao Shen, Wen Li

Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Second Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR1524-1532

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.907284

Chinese Clinical Trial Registry # ChiCTR-INR-17011077

Available online: 2018-03-14

Published: 2018-03-14


BACKGROUND: WeChat is a convenient and popular social medium, and it seems to be an appropriate platform for education and management of patients. This study sought to identify usefulness in clinical control of cough-variant asthma (CVA).
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A randomized controlled trial was conducted among 80 CVA patients. After being assigned to either the traditional group (TG) or the WeChat group (WG), they received the same inhalation therapy, but patients in WG received additional education and instruction via our public account on the WeChat application. Questionnaires on asthma and chronic cough, data on pulmonary function, blood-related items, follow-up adherence, and Emergency Department (ED) visits were collected at the initial visit and at 3 months.
RESULTS: A total of 67 participants completed the trial for analysis. FEV1/predicted and FEV1/FVC were significantly increased in WG (p<0.001; p=0.012) after 3 months. PD20-FEV1 was increased in both groups compared with baseline, but more pronounced in WG (p=0.004). ACQ-7 scores were improved in both groups (p=0.024; p<0.001). Participants allocated to WG experienced a greater improvement in AQLQ and LCQ scores, and between-group differences were significant at 3 months (p=0.040; p=0.001). Furthermore, we observed decreases in blood eosinophil count and FeNO in WG (p=0.048; p=0.014), and WG presented better follow-up compliance (p=0.034).
CONCLUSIONS: Using WeChat as part of treatment and management of CVA can help patients learn about their disease and medications, as well as improve disease control and therapy outcomes.

Keywords: Asthma, Cellular Phone, Cough, Mobile Applications, Quality of Life, Respiratory Function Tests