Home-Visit Program May Improve Child's Asthma02/23/12
THURSDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- A home-visit program for
children with asthma reduced hospitalizations and emergency
department visits, improved patient outcomes and saved $1.46 for
every dollar spent, according to a new study.
Researchers examined the impact of the Community Asthma
Initiative, a community-based asthma care program for low-income
families, developed and implemented in 2005 by a team at Children's
The program includes nurse case management and care coordination
combined with home visits by a nurse or community health worker to
educate families about asthma, assess the home for asthma triggers,
and provide materials and services to reduce asthma attacks, such
as HEPA vacuums (which have high-efficiency air filters), special
bedding covers and pest control.
The study included 283 families with children who had been
hospitalized or who had made emergency department visits for
asthma. Of those children, 43 percent had moderate or severe
asthma. Over one year, the families received an average of 1.2 home
After one year, the researchers saw a 68 percent decrease in
asthma-related emergency department visits; an 85 percent drop in
asthma-related hospitalizations; a 43 percent reduction in the
percentage of children who had to limit physical activity on any
day; a 41 percent decrease in reports of missed school days; and a
50 percent fall in parents having to miss work to care for their
The percentage of children with an up-to-date asthma care plan
rose from 53 percent to 82 percent.
These improvements were evident within six months and persisted
for as long as two years, the study authors noted in a Children's
Hospital Boston news release.
The program cost $2,529 per child but yielded savings of $3,827
per child due to fewer hospitalizations and emergency department
visits. That means that $1.46 in health care costs was saved for
every dollar spent on the program.
"This is a remarkable savings to society and reflects better health outcomes for the children," program team co-leader Dr. Elizabeth Woods, of the division of adolescent/young adult medicine, said in the news release.
The study, published online Feb. 20 in
Pediatrics, appears in the March print issue of the journal.
The American Lung Association has more about
children and asthma.
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