District of Columbia
Little is known about how ED-based programs can help to reduce pediatric ED visits for
asthma. The current study evaluated a novel intervention in which the ED itself became the
site of highly individualized, comprehensive follow-up asthma care. It sought to determine
if such an intervention could decrease subsequent unscheduled visits for asthma while
improving asthma quality of life.
Prospective, randomized clinical trial of a single visit to a specialized emergency
department-based asthma follow-up clinic occurring 2-15 days after emergency department care
for an acute exacerbation. All patients were followed for 6 months. Analysis was by
intention-to-treat with adjustment for baseline differences. Our primary hypothesis was
that this intervention would decrease subsequent unscheduled visits (both to EDs and other
sources of urgent care) for asthma over a six-month follow-up period. We further
hypothesized that the intervention would decrease hospitalizations for asthma, improve
compliance with an individualized medical plan and with trigger control, increase scheduled
primary care practitioner (PCP) visits for routine asthma care, and decrease asthma symptoms
while improving asthma quality of life (QOL).
1. age between 12 months and 17 years, inclusive;
2. prior physician-diagnosed asthma;
3. ≥1 other unscheduled visit for asthma in the previous 6 months and/or ≥1
hospitalization for asthma in the prior 12 months;
4. a parent/guardian available for interview;
5. residence in Washington, DC or a contiguous Maryland county; and
6. requirement for ≥3 doses of nebulized albuterol in the ED at the time of enrollment.
1. significant medical co-morbidities affecting the cardiorespiratory system;
2. a visit to an allergist or a pulmonologist in the prior 6 months;
3. ≥2 of the following: a current written asthma medical action plan, current use of >1
controller medication, or a scheduled visit for asthma care with their PCP in the
prior two weeks;
4. enrollment in another asthma research study;
5. unavailability for telephone follow-up; or
6. primary language other than English or Spanish.