Design of a Home-Based Intervention for Houston-area African-American Adults With Asthma: Methods and Lessons Learned From a Pragmatic Randomized Trial

Contemp Clin Trials. 2020 Apr;91:105977. doi: 10.1016/j.cct.2020.105977. Epub 2020 Mar 6.


A growing body of evidence demonstrates that home-based, multicomponent interventions can effectively reduce exposures to asthma triggers and decrease asthma symptoms. However, few of these studies have targeted adults. To address this and other research gaps, we designed and implemented a pragmatic randomized clinical trial, the Houston Home-based Integrated Intervention Targeting Better Asthma Control (HIITBAC) for African Americans, to assess the effectiveness of a home-based intervention to improve asthma control and quality of life in African-American adults-a population disproportionately affected by asthma. The primary goals were to help participants reduce allergens and irritants in their homes and better manage their disease through knowledge, improved medication use, and behavior change. HIITBAC had two groups: clinic-only and home-visit groups. Both groups received enhanced clinical care, but the home-visit group also received a detailed home assessment and four additional home visits spaced over roughly one year. We recruited 263 participants. Of these, 152 (57.8%) were recruited through electronic health record data, 51 (19.4%) through Emergency Medical Services data, and 60 (22.8%) through other efforts (e.g., emergency departments, community events, outreach). Seventy participants (26.6%) were lost to follow up, substantially more in the home-visit than in the clinic-only group. We describe the HIITBAC methodology and cohort, discuss lessons learned about recruitment and retention, and highlight adaptations we implemented to address these lessons.

Keywords: Asthma; Patient-centered outcomes research; Pragmatic trial; Study recruitment; Vulnerable populations.