A randomized controlled trial using the school for anti-inflammatory therapy in asthma.
ABSTRACT This study investigated the impact of providing low-dose inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) at school or at home to asthmatic inner city children over a 14-week period, compared with the existing community standard. Eight elementary schools in the Dallas Independent School District with a high incidence of asthma located in predominantly urban African-American communities were randomly assigned to one of four groups. The treatment arms were school-based delivery of inhaled steroids, home-based delivery of inhaled steroids, and home-based delivery of inhaled steroids with school-based asthma education, and the control group was no change in current therapy. Fifty students were objectively diagnosed with mild, persistent asthma and participated in the study. Students in the treatment arms received beclomethasone (42 mcg/puff) 4 puffs, twice a day, either at school or at home. Students in the control, "community standard of care" group received no additional medical intervention. Higher peak flows for the treatment groups were seen in the first week and maintained throughout the study (P = .047). By week 5 significant differences were found in frequency of bronchodilator use (P = .025), episodes of nocturnal awakening with asthma symptoms (P = .022), and visits to the primary health care provider (P = .022). Treatment groups rated their asthma as "better than the week before" more frequently than the control group (P = .001). Delivering ICS in school is associated with improved asthma control than when anti-inflammatory medication was delivered to children with asthma in a home-based setting, and both are superior when compared with a control, "community standard of care" group in which no additional medical intervention occurred.
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ABSTRACT: Despite more than a decade of education and research-oriented intervention programs, inner city children with asthma continue to engage in episodic "rescue" patterns of healthcare and experience a disproportionate level of morbidity. The aim of this study was to establish and evaluate a sustainable community-wide pediatric asthma disease management program designed to shift inner city children in Los Angeles from acute episodic care to regular preventive care in accordance with national standards. In 1995 the Southern California Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (LAC DHS), and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) established an agreement to initiate and sustain the Breathmobile Program. This program includes automated case identification, mobile school-based clinics, and highly structured clinical encounters supported by an advanced information technology solution. Interdisciplinary teams of asthma care specialists provide regular and ongoing care to children at school and county clinic sites over a wide geographic area of urban Los Angeles. Each team operates in a specially equipped mobile clinic (Breathmobile), efficiently moving a structured healthcare process to school and county clinic sites with large numbers of children. Demographic, clinical, and participation data is tracked carefully in an electronic medical record system. Program operations, clinical oversight, and patient tracking are centralized at a care coordination center. Clinical operations and methods have been replicated in fixed specialty clinic sites at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center. Clinical and process measures are regularly evaluated to assure quality, plan iterative improvement, and support evidence-based care. Four Breathmobiles deliver ongoing care at more than 90 school sites. The program has engaged over five thousand patients and their families in a continuity care model that has demonstrated efficacy over usual episodic care. More than 90% of patients in all asthma severity categories achieved clinical control of asthma with significant reductions in inpatient (IP) and emergency department (ED) use. On February 14, 2002, the program became the first program in the United States to receive the award of disease-specific care certification by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). Proper design and resource allocation can sustain a school-based community-wide pediatric asthma disease management program and shift a population of inner city children from acute episodic care to routine preventive care in accordance with national standards. An evidence-based approach to evaluating and maintaining quality, coupled with stratified care delivery, can assure the efficient use of safety net healthcare resources.Disease Management 09/2005; 8(4):205-22. DOI:10.1089/dis.2005.8.205 · 1.39 Impact Factor
- Journal of School Health 09/2006; 76(6):340-4. DOI:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00125.x · 1.66 Impact Factor