Shoshana Silverman

I am a listener, copywriter, editor, fundraiser, program developer, yoga instructor, cook, wife and mom.

Writing Sample: Journal Article April 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shoshana Belisle @ 4:11 am

journal-articleIn the attached professional journal article, which was published in Explore, I assisted with the content and wrote the Introduction section.


Asthma is a serious chronic lung disease characterized by reversible airway obstruction and airway inflammation. According to the 2002 National Health Interview Survey, 30.8 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with asthma sometime during their lifetime. This includes 21.9 million adults and 8.9 million children. Although the American Lung Association recently reported that asthma mortality rates and hospitalizations have declined over the past few years, the burden from asthma has increased over the past two decades, and asthma continues to take a significant toll on daily activities and economic productivity for many patients. The National Health Interview Survey found that over the previous year, symptoms of asthma caused children aged 5 to 17 to miss 14.7 million school days due to asthma, and employed adults to miss 11.8 million work days. The American Lung Association reported that asthma entails an annual economic cost to the United States of $16.1 billion, including $11.5 billion in direct healthcare costs and $4.6 billion in lost productivity.

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Asthma. Many asthma sufferers are attracted to complementary and alternative medicine. Blanc et al3 found that 42% of the adults with allergies or asthma who were surveyed had tried some form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Angsten has proposed that asthma patients may be interested in CAM because of the chronic nature of their illness, the “perceived toxicities of therapies such as inhaled corticosteroids” and because they are attracted to the holistic approach of the treatments, which appreciates the psychological basis of disease. Davis et al believe that the lack of success for conventional asthma therapy has resulted in the increasing number of patients seeking CAM approaches.

Acupuncture Studies to Date. Although numerous studies have been conducted to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture for adults with asthma, it is still difficult to draw definitive conclusions regarding its effectiveness. In one uncontrolled, clinical series of 25 steroid-dependent asthma patients treated with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine, over 80% improved symptomatically and became less dependent on steroids…


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