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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: New York (cont’d)Back to Index

Primary Instead of Emergency Care for Childhood Asthma

Columbia University

New York, NY

David Evans, PhD

(212) 305-6732         


An asthma study, Primary Instead of Emergency Care for Childhood Asthma, was designed and implemented by Columbia University in New York City. The goal of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention designed to improve the health status of inner-city children who make frequent emergency department visits and who rely mainly on episodic care for asthma.

142 children between the ages of 2 and 18 were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The control group received usual emergency department care without the intervention, whereas the experimental group received an intervention by a case manager/health educator.

The case manager/health educator worked with the families to help them maintain continuing care relationships with primary care providers, including attended medical appointments with the families, and following up to make sure the family understood and could follow the treatment plan provided by the physician. The case manager/health educator also provided asthma education to enhance self-management skills and conducted home visits to address environmental trigger control and help resolve problems related to asthma management.

Families without primary care or who were dissatisfied with their primary care were offered medical care at low or no cost at an existing network of primary care clinics. Staff of these clinics were oriented to the study and also received training to review NHLBI treatment guidelines and strategies for fostering patient partnerships.

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