Evaluation of a practice-based intervention to improve the management of pediatric asthma

J Urban Health. 2011 Feb;88 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):38-48. doi: 10.1007/s11524-010-9471-3.


Pediatric asthma remains a significant burden upon patients, families, and the healthcare system. Despite the availability of evidence-based best practice asthma management guidelines for over a decade, published studies suggest that many primary care physicians do not follow them. This article describes the Provider Quality Improvement (PQI) intervention with six diverse community-based practices. A pediatrician and a nurse practitioner conducted the year-long intervention, which was part of a larger CDC-funded project, using problem-based learning within an academic detailing model. Process and outcome assessments included (1) pre- and post-intervention chart reviews to assess eight indicators of quality care, (2) post-intervention staff questionnaires to assess contact with the intervention team and awareness of practice changes, and (3) individual semi-structured interviews with physician and nurse champions in five of the six practices. The chart review indicated that all six practices met predefined performance improvement criteria for at least four of eight indicators of quality care, with two practices meeting improvement criteria for all eight indicators. The response rate for the staff questionnaires was high (72%) and generally consistent across practices, demonstrating high staff awareness of the intervention team, the practice "asthma champions," and changes in practice patterns. In the semi-structured interviews, several respondents attributed the intervention's acceptability and success to the expertise of the PQI team and expressed the belief that sustaining changes would be critically dependent on continued contact with the team. Despite significant limitations, this study demonstrated that interventions that are responsive to individual practice cultures can successfully change practice patterns.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Clinical Audit
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Pediatrics / education
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / standards
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'*
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Primary Health Care / standards*
  • Quality Improvement
  • Spirometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Urban Health
  • Virginia