Objective: To determine whether clinician prompting regarding a child's symptom severity and guideline recommendations at the time of an office visit improves the delivery of preventive asthma care.
Design: Randomized controlled trial.
Setting: Two inner-city pediatric practices in Rochester, NY.
Participants: Two hundred twenty-six children with persistent asthma (aged 2-12 years) presenting to the clinics for well-child care, asthma care, or non-asthma-related illness care. Intervention We assigned children randomly to a clinician-prompting group (single-page prompt including the child's symptoms and guideline recommendations given to the clinician at the time of the visit) or a standard-care group (no prompt given). Interviewers called parents after the visit to inquire about preventive measures taken, and medical charts were reviewed.
Main outcome measures: Any preventive action related to asthma taken at the visit.
Results: Children in the clinician-prompting group were more likely to have had any preventive measures taken at the visit compared with children in the standard-care group (87% vs 69%). Specifically, visits for children in the clinician-prompting group were more likely to include delivery of an action plan (50% vs 24%), discussions regarding asthma (87% vs 76%), and recommendations for an asthma follow-up visit (54% vs 37%). In a regression model, children in the clinician-prompting group had 3-fold greater odds of receiving any preventive action compared with the standard-care group.
Conclusion: Clinician prompting regarding asthma severity and care guidelines at the time of an office visit significantly improved the delivery of preventive asthma care.