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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: ColoradoBack to Index

CAPS: Childhood Asthma Prevention Study

National Jewish Medical and Research Center

Denver, CO

Mary D. Klinnert, PhD

(303) 398-1231         


The Childhood Asthma Prevention Study (CAPS) of the National Jewish Medical and Research Center started in 1997 in Denver, CO.

Infants aged 9 to 24 months with 3 or more physician-documented wheezing episodes were randomly assigned to environmental support intervention (ES) (n=90) or control (n=91) groups. Nurse home visitors intervened for 1 year to decrease allergen and environmental tobacco smoke exposure and improve symptom perception and management. Assessments at baseline and 12 months included allergens in house dust, infant urinary cotinine levels, caregivers' symptom reports, quality of life, illness management, and quality of care giving. Medical records were coded for hospitalizations, emergency department visits, and corticosteroid bursts.

Analysis of the 12 month follow-up data showed that within the ES group, cockroach allergen levels were significantly reduced and there was a trend toward reduction in dog dander levels. Among infants with detectable urinary cotinine, levels were significantly reduced in the ES group. Caregiver psychological resources modified the impact, and low-resource ES caregivers were the most strongly affected. Asthma knowledge and provider collaboration improved significantly in the ES group. Neither reports of infant symptoms nor emergency department visits or hospitalizations showed positive intervention effects. Number of corticosteroid bursts for infants was significantly higher for the ES group.

Study investigators concluded that the CAPS intervention was effective in reducing several environmental exposures and improving illness management. However, even with an intensive home-based intervention, they failed to reduce respiratory symptoms or medical use in the ES group relative to the control group, illustrating the difficulty of changing the course of early asthma development among low-income infants.

The CAPS intervention is complete, but data collection and analysis is ongoing. As of June 2005, CAPS is analyzing 4-year follow up data and collecting 7-year follow up data.

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