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?
Asthma is a disease that affects a person’s ability to breathe. Many things can trigger asthma symptoms, including pollen, dust, smoke, pollution, and viral infections. Taking daily medicines can improve and prevent asthma symptoms. However, parents who are stressed about other common problems, such as money or their jobs, may have more trouble remembering to give their children their daily asthma medicine.
The research team already has a program that helps families learn to manage their children’s asthma. The program focuses mainly on children who live in urban areas and who visit the emergency room often because of asthma symptoms. Children who go through the program have fewer emergency department visits and are more likely to take their daily medicine. In this study, the research team wants to find out if helping parents manage their everyday stress will improve the program further and decrease the number of days children have asthma symptoms.
Who can this research help?
The results of this research can help doctors and public health workers learn how to help families manage children’s asthma symptoms and parents’ stress.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is designing a program to help parents manage stress. The program includes one-on-one stress management sessions and group sessions with community wellness coaches. The team is working with parents and local groups to make sure the program focuses on issues parents think are important. Partners include community-based pediatricians, school health leaders, local service providers, and communication experts.
Next, the research team is recruiting 217 African-American parent–child pairs to join the study. The children are between 4 and 12 years old, have asthma, and have public insurance. All of the families are participating in the research team’s current program to learn to manage the children’s asthma. The research team is assigning half of the parents by chance, to participate in the new stress management program. Over a 12-month period, the research team is looking at how often the children have symptom-free days. The team is also looking at how often children have asthma symptoms, how severe those symptoms are, and parents’ and children’s anxiety and depression.
Research methods at a glance