PCORI funds Dissemination and Implementation projects to increase awareness and promote the use of PCORI research findings to improve healthcare practices and health outcomes. This project is proposing to conduct dissemination and implementation activities for the results of the research project: Examining Home Visits from Community Health Workers to Help Patients Manage Asthma Symptoms.
COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement
The COVID-19 pandemic has created new concerns for low-income patients with poorly controlled asthma. Community health workers (CHWs) serve as frontline care providers to support these patients in their homes and communities. However, home visits are often not possible due to social distancing guidelines.
The project enhancement will update the current asthma care home visit program to support phone and video visits. It will also develop new patient-facing online asthma management tutorials—in English and Spanish—to supplement CHW visits, as well as add new COVID-19-specific resources and protocols to the existing suite of tools used by to CHWs. The tutorials will also be available to patients with poorly controlled asthma who decline a home or virtual CHW visit.
Enhancement Award Amount: $500,000*
This project is in progress.
What were the results from the original PCORI-funded research study?
Children and adults with poorly controlled asthma who had home visits from community health workers, or CHWs, had more days without asthma symptoms than patients who didn’t get home visits. Patients who got home visits also went to the emergency room less often, missed fewer days of work and school, and reported better quality of life compared with patients who didn’t get home visits. During the visits, CHWs helped patients identify asthma triggers; they also provided asthma education and supplies like pillow and mattress covers.
Why is this research finding important?
CHWs are people from the local community who are trained to teach about health and link people with health and social services. This study showed CHWs can work as part of a care team to help people understand and avoid things that trigger their asthma symptoms.
What is the goal of this project?
The project’s overall goal is to make the tested CHW Asthma Home visit model part of asthma care in communities across Washington State. The team will work collaboratively with stakeholders statewide to train and support CHWs and CHW supervisors on this model.
What is the project team doing?
The project team is expanding the CHW home visit program, which was developed in Seattle, to four other communities in Washington State. Over two years, they aim to reach 1,700 people with Medicaid insurance who have poorly controlled asthma.
In addition, the project team is revising training materials so they can be used in different communities. They are developing training for managers who help CHWs learn about asthma as well as online and hands-on training for CHWs.
How is the team evaluating this project?
The team is monitoring the numbers of
- Programs that are adopting home visits
- CHWs trained to make home visits
- Trained CHW program managers and supervisors
- Home visits from CHWs
- Changes in asthma health outcomes
The project team is also looking at how communities establish and use the CHW program and challenges they face in the first year of the program.
How is the team involving patients and others in making sure the findings reach people who can use them?
People with asthma, CHWs, CHW managers, Medicaid Managed Care Organizations, and primary care clinicians are part of a community advisory committee that is helping the project team develop the program, including developing training and support for programs in communities with diverse needs.
Learn more about PCORI’s Dissemination and Implementation program here.
Related PCORI-funded Research Project
Implementation of PCORI-Funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Results (Limited PCORI Funding Announcement)
*All proposed enhancement projects, including requested project plans, budgets and milestone schedules, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award modification.