A $4.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was recently awarded to attending physician Dr. Marina Reznik at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore in the Bronx, New York City, to study children’ primary care asthma management using their electronic health records. Reznik is also an associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The five-year research grant will be used to conduct a randomized trial to evaluate why primary care pediatricians are not following national asthma management guidelines for children ages 2 to 12 with persistent or uncontrolled asthma. The study aims to increase adherence to the asthma guidelines, as well as to improve clinical outcomes for children suffering with the disease.
Launched last month, the study will also assess whether a practical system change might help children and caregivers in urban areas adhere to the guidelines.
“Asthma disproportionally affects low-income, minority children living in inner cities such as the Bronx,” Reznik said, according to a news release. “The use of national guidelines by healthcare providers reduces asthma-related complications by 70 percent, yet these guidelines are not used consistently. The goal of this effort is to elicit an in-depth conversation between providers and patients/families that will enable us to more effectively manage children’s asthma and curb care inconsistencies.”
The project will help pediatricians make decisions on how to address and control asthma in their patients. In patients with severe asthma, caregivers will receive additional education, care coordination, and support to transcend the barriers that guideline-based care produces.
Asthma is a common long-term inflammatory disease of the airways of the lungs. It is characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include episodes of wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These episodes may occur a few times a day or a few times a week, depending on the severity of the disease.
Childhood asthma is a growing public health concern in low-income urban communities. Every day in America, 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma; 30,000 people have an asthma attack; 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to the condition; and 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma; It’s estimated that 11 people die from the disease every day in the U.S.