The objective of this randomized trial is to assess the effectiveness of an intervention
involving education, self-efficacy, and social support in improving quality of life outcomes
among 296 adult asthma patients treated in the emergency room. The main outcome will be a
comparison of within-patient change in quality of life between enrollment and 8 weeks.
Secondary objectives will be to assess the effectiveness of the intervention in decreasing
the need for rescue inhaled beta agonists, in improving peak flow meter rates, and in
decreasing the number of days lost from work or school due to asthma. These outcomes will
be measured again at 16 weeks to determine if benefits are sustained. Additional outcomes
at 16 weeks and 1 year will be to assess the effectiveness of the intervention in decreasing
urgent resource utilization for asthma and cost effectiveness.
Many urban asthma emergency room patients lack effective self-management. Most current
training programs are administered in outpatient settings and have low attendance rates for
emergency room patients. There is a great need to develop effective programs that can be
easily administered in the emergency room for patients who, in many cases, are not present
in other settings to receive education. This proposal builds on preliminary studies and is
tailored to provide emergency room patients with basic education during "a teachable moment"
when they may be most receptive to asthma information.
Patients will be recruited from two New York City urban emergency rooms or inpatient
settings and randomized to the intervention or control groups. Intervention patients will
receive a protocol focusing on asthma self-management, education, self-efficacy, and social
support, with telephone reinforcement for 8 weeks. Control patients will receive standard
emergency room education about asthma.
- Patients will be eligible if they are 18 years of age or older
- Fluent in English
- Have a known diagnosis of asthma
- Will receive treatment for asthma during the current hospitalization or emergency
- Cognitive deficits
- Other pulmonary diseases or severe comorbidity
- Do not have out-patient access to a telephone