Objective: To determine the effectiveness of a home-based asthma education intervention in increasing appropriate nebulizer use and reducing symptom frequency, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations over 12 months. Design: A randomized clinical trial. Settings: Pediatric primary care, pulmonary/allergy, and ED practices associated with the University of Maryland Medical System and The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore. Participants: Children with persistent asthma, aged 2 to 9 years, with regular nebulizer use and an ED visit or hospitalization within the past 12 months. Children were randomized into the intervention (n = 110) or control (n = 111) group. Follow-up data were available for 95 intervention and 86 control children. Intervention: Home-based asthma education, including symptom recognition, home treatment of acute symptoms, appropriate asthma medication, and nebulizer practice. Main Outcome Measures: Estimates of mean differences in asthma symptom frequency, number of ED visits and hospitalizations and appropriate quick relief, controller medication, and nebulizer practice over 12 months. Results: Of the 221 children, 181 (81.9%) completed the study. There were no significant differences in home nebulizer practice, asthma morbidity, ED visits, or hospitalizations between groups (P range, .11-.79). Although most children received appropriate nonurgent asthma care (mean, 2 visits per 6 months), more than one third of all children received at least 6 quick-relief medication prescriptions during 12 months, with no difference by group. Conclusions: A nebulizer education intervention had no effect on asthma severity or health care use. Of concern is the high quick-relief and low controller medication use in young children with asthma seen nearly every 3 months for nonurgent care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health