PCORI has identified childhood asthma in African-Americans and Hispanics/Latinos as an important research topic. Asthma affects African-American and Hispanic/Latino people at higher rates than whites, but African-American and Hispanic/Latino children are less likely to receive recommended care. Patients, clinicians, and others want to learn: What interventions will best help doctors and families assure that children receive the care recommended by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute? To answer this question, PCORI launched a funding initiative in 2013 on Treatment Options for African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos with Uncontrolled Asthma. This research project is one of the studies PCORI awarded as part of this program.
This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 10 children in the United States has asthma. Asthma symptoms can be affected by
- A child’s overall health
- How a child uses asthma medicine
- Triggers in a child’s home and neighborhood, such as cigarette smoke or pollen
- The quality of health care a child receives
- Air quality in and around the child’s home
Imperial County, California, is located on the US border with Mexico. It has a large Latino population. One in five children living in Imperial County has asthma, twice the national rate. In this study, the research team wants to find out whether different types of support in the community, at home, and in the doctor’s office can help children and parents control a child’s asthma. The researchers are working with community members, researchers, healthcare providers, and advocates.
Who can this research help?
Results from this study can help doctors, public health workers, and parents manage a child’s asthma.
What is the research team doing?
This study is looking at three ways to help children with asthma and their parents:
Community program. The research team is working with community agencies to teach people how to manage asthma. The team is developing messages about asthma control, air quality, and asthma triggers. The team is sharing these messages through TV, radio, posters, public presentations, health fairs, community websites, and Facebook. The messages appear in about 30 websites and 300 ads per month. They include information on websites and phone numbers where community members can find more support. During the presentations and health fairs and on Facebook, community members can ask questions about asthma.
Home program. In this program, community health workers visit families four times in two months. The health workers focus on addressing questions and concerns about each child’s asthma treatment. They also help families find asthma triggers in their homes. Before each home visit, the community health workers contact the family by mail and by phone. They remind the family of their upcoming home visit and help solve any issues that come up between visits.
Clinic program. Families in this program see their doctors twice or more in 12 months to talk about their children’s asthma treatments. They also meet with an asthma educator at the doctor’s office. Asthma educators teach families how to help their children manage asthma symptoms and how to use their medicine. Case managers call the families within two weeks of each doctor visit to help solve any problems and make sure that families understand their treatment plans. The case managers also try to help families follow plans to control asthma as well as possible.
The research team is recruiting 400 families to take part in the study. The team is dividing these families into four groups by chance. The four groups take part in
- Community, clinic, and home programs
- Community and clinic programs
- Community and home programs
- Community program only
The research team talks to families before and after they take part in the programs. The team wants to learn whether the programs are helping children control their asthma. They also want to know if the children feel better overall. The team checks the children’s breathing before they start the program and after they have been in the program for one year.
Research methods at a glance
Training and Education Interventions