Date of Award
Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review
Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant
Physician Assistant Studies
John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this systematic review is to determine whether or not probiotics are effective at reducing the symptoms of asthma in children ages birth to twelve-years old.
STUDY DESIGN: Review of three English-language, double-blinded randomized controlled trials (RCTs) from 2010 and 2011.
DATA SOURCES: Three peer-reviewed RCTs were found using PubMed database. These studies compared probiotics to placebos in patients with episodes of wheezing.
OUTCOMES MEASURED: Reduction in symptoms of asthma (particularly wheezing) measured with the use of diary cards and symptom scores.
RESULTS: Chen et al. demonstrated statistically significant improvement in daytime asthma symptoms in probiotic treated versus placebo treated children age 6–12 years, with a p value of 0.01. Rose et al found no statistically significant difference in asthma related symptoms between probiotic and placebo groups in children age 6–24 months. A Mann-Whitney U-test was used to determine this fact, using a 95% confidence interval. No test statistic was given. Van der Aa found that a synbiotic mixture containing a probiotic to reduce wheezing and/or noisy breathing apart from colds compared to placebo. This reduction was statistically significant, with a 95% confidence interval and a p value of 0.001.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that probiotics are effective at reducing asthma symptoms such as wheezing. Two of the three studies suggested statistically significant improvement in probiotic treated versus control groups.
Sulat, Rachel, "Are Probiotics Effective at Reducing the Symptoms of Asthma in Children From Birth to Twelve-Years Old?" (2015). PCOM Physician Assistant Studies Student Scholarship. 251.