Indoor environmental triggers can increase asthma morbidity. National guidelines recommend comprehensive use of environmental control practices (ECPs) as a component of asthma management. The purpose of this study was to examine the association between preventive asthma care and comprehensive ECP use among children with asthma. We used data from the National Asthma Survey, including 1,921 children with asthma. Comprehensive use was defined as using at least five of eight ECPs: (i) air filter, (ii) dehumidifier, (iii) mattress cover, (iv) pillow cover, (v) pet avoidance, (vi) smoke avoidance, (vii) removing carpets, and (viii) washing sheets in hot water. Univariate and multiple regression analyses were conducted to examine the association between comprehensive use of ECPs and receipt of preventive asthma care, as measured by number of routine asthma visits in the prior year and physician advice to modify the environment. Overall, 17% (95% CI: 14-19%) of participants had comprehensive ECP use. The most commonly used practices were 'smoke avoidance' (85%), 'pet avoidance' (59%), and 'washing sheets in hot water' (46%). Comprehensive use of ECPs was associated with having received physician advice [odds ratio (OR) 3.1, 95% CI: 2.2-4.4] and increased asthma visits (1-2 visits: OR 1.5, 95% CI: 1.0-2.4; 3-4 visits: OR 2.2, 95% CI: 1.3-3.8; ≥5 visits: OR 2.7, 95% CI: 1.5-4.8). Only a minority of parents implement comprehensive ECPs, and receipt of preventive asthma care is associated with comprehensive use. Further research is needed to determine the factors mediating these associations in order to inform more effective asthma counseling.
© 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.