Project Summary

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 common illness in children that can make it hard to breathe. Children from families with low incomes and racial or ethnic minorities have high rates of asthma. Triggers such as cockroaches, dust mites, and mold can make asthma worse. Reducing triggers in the home can improve asthma symptoms. But reducing all triggers can be costly and hard to do. Families of children with asthma need simple, low-cost ways to reduce asthma triggers in the home.

In this study, the research team is comparing two ways to improve asthma symptoms. One focuses on reducing the number of cockroaches in the home with insect bait. Cockroaches are a key asthma trigger in children, and insect bait is low cost, easy to use, and less toxic than other forms of pest control. The other way addresses multiple triggers.

Who can this research help?

Results may help clinicians when advising families on ways to reduce asthma triggers in the home.

What is the research team doing?

The research team is recruiting families of children with asthma who attend health clinics in the Greater New Orleans area. The team is assigning each family by chance to receive either insect bait alone or insect bait plus

  • Asthma education
  • Mattress and bed covers
  • A HEPA vacuum, which traps very small dust particles
  • An air purifier
  • Education on cleaning techniques

Over one year, the research team is checking on children’s asthma symptoms and control, asthma-related healthcare use, quality of life, rescue medicine use, lung function, and the number of cockroaches in the home. The team is comparing these outcomes across children in each group to see how reducing one trigger compares with reducing multiple triggers.

Caregivers of children with asthma, clinicians, and community leaders helped choose study outcomes and helped with recruitment.

Research methods at a glance

Design Elements Description
Design Randomized controlled trial
Population 290 children ages 5–17 with uncontrolled persistent asthma living in the Greater New Orleans area who are exposed to cockroaches in the home and their caregivers
  • Tailored multi-component allergen reduction program
  • Insect bait

Primary: number of days with asthma symptoms in past 2 weeks; asthma-related hospitalizations, emergency room visits, or unscheduled doctor visits in the previous month; asthma control

Secondary: asthma quality of life, rescue medicine use, lung function, cockroach exposure

Timeframe 1-year follow-up for primary outcomes

Project Information

Felicia A. Rabito, PhD, MPH
Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
Comparative Effectiveness of Multi versus Single Intervention Allergen Reduction Strategies on Asthma Morbidity

Key Dates

August 2019
April 2024

Study Registration Information


Award Type
Health Conditions Health Conditions These are the broad terms we use to categorize our funded research studies; specific diseases or conditions are included within the appropriate larger category. Note: not all of our funded projects focus on a single disease or condition; some touch on multiple diseases or conditions, research methods, or broader health system interventions. Such projects won’t be listed by a primary disease/condition and so won’t appear if you use this filter tool to find them. View Glossary
Populations Populations PCORI is interested in research that seeks to better understand how different clinical and health system options work for different people. These populations are frequently studied in our portfolio or identified as being of interest by our stakeholders. View Glossary
Intervention Strategy Intervention Strategies PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies that compare two or more options or approaches to health care, or that compare different ways of delivering or receiving care. View Glossary
State State The state where the project originates, or where the primary institution or organization is located. View Glossary
Last updated: October 18, 2023