Objective: To evaluate a family-focused asthma intervention designed for inner-city children 5 to 11 years old with moderate to severe asthma.
Study design: Randomized, multisite, controlled trial to minimize symptom days (wheeze, loss of sleep, reduction in play activity) measured by a 2-week recall assessed at 2-month intervals over a 2-year follow-up period. The intervention was tailored to each family's individual asthma risk profile assessed at baseline.
Results: Averaged over the first 12 months, participants in the intervention group (n = 515) reported 3.51 symptom days in the 2 weeks before each follow-up interview compared with 4.06 symptom days for the control group (n = 518), a difference of 0.55 (95% CI, 0.18 to 0.92, P =.004). The reduction among children with severe asthma was approximately 3 times greater (1.54 d/2 wk). More children in the control group (18.9%) were hospitalized during the intervention compared with children in the intervention group (14. 8%), a decrease of 4.19% (CI, -8.75 to 0.36, P =.071). These improvements were maintained in the intervention group during the second year of follow-up, during which they did not have access to the asthma counselor.
Conclusions: We demonstrated that an individually tailored, multifaceted intervention carried out by Masters-level social workers trained in asthma management can reduce asthma symptoms among children in the inner city.