A Program to Change the Approach to Care of Children with Asthma in the Primary Care Setting Did Not Reduce Rates of Hospital Admissions: Lessons Learned from a Descriptive Study

Sheniz Moonie, Robert C. Strunk, and Mario Castro

Asthma is a critical global health issue. It affects people of all ages in countries throughout the world. The prevalence of asthma is increasing in most countries among young children who also represent the greatest proportion of health care utilization. Outpatient asthma-treatment programs managed by chest physicians or allergists have reduced hospitalizations, yet programs in pediatric offices have not successfully impacted hospitalizations. The Community Asthma Program (CAP) was designed to support pediatrician use of clinical guidelines in their everyday office practice. The goal was to reduce asthma hospitalizations by 15 percent from selected pediatric practices. A study was done in 4 pediatric practices closely associated with St. Louis Children’s Hospital. The program included a continuous quality improvement process quarterly.