Narrator: This is Science Today. Over 17 million Americans suffer from asthma - a chronic disease that's hit epidemic proportions in this country. Susan Janson, a University of California, San Francisco professor, serves on a national panel of asthma experts and says one of the major goals is targeting self-management training to every adult with asthma. Janson recently conducted a study to see how long patients wait to seek care after the first asthma symptoms begin.
Janson: We found out the average wait was between four hours and twenty-four hours and that is a long time to sit and wait. Some patients waited three days! Three days, sitting home wheezing, can't breathe, not going in.
Narrator: Janson says patients gave a variety of reasons for waiting, including uncertainty of the severity of the symmetry or simply not knowing what else to do.
Janson: People, if they're going to self-manage their disease, need some cues to figure things out so they can be certain. I think we have to design them into every self-management teaching session.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.