Pediatric Asthma

Our evidence-based intervention is targeted towards parents of children with uncontrolled asthma. In a large, multi-year randomized clinical trial, parent mentoring has been shown to deliver a 38% reduction in re-hospitalizations for acute asthma exacerbations. This program is based on multiple clinical trials conducted across the United States with both inner city and minority populations. Through funding from the NIH, we are translating these academic insights into actual clinical practice.

Our program is based on over a decade of research on how parent mentoring can improve health outcomes for children with asthma, while significantly reducing asthma exacerbations resulting in hospitalizations.

In one key study, parents were randomized either to the parent mentoring arm or the control arm after their child had an acute asthma exacerbation. For parents in the mentoring arm, 89% had a substantive contact with a parent mentor within the first 90 days. Over the next 24 months, only 36% of their children had a repeat asthma-related exacerbation. This was significantly less than the individuals in the control arm where 59% of their children experienced a repeat asthma-related hospitalization. (Fisher 2009)

Peer-to-peer connections are based on common experience. Through this relationship, mentors provide much-needed support and guidance to make and sustain key behavior changes for both parent and child. This results in measurable improvements in health outcomes and significant reductions in hospital and emergency department utilization.

Our parent mentors also have children with asthma. Each mentor completes and successfully passes a robust online training program through Peer Mentor University. Each parent mentor listens, guides, and motivates fellow parents to create and sustain key behaviors to help them better manage their child’s asthma.

The parent mentoring program is customized based on the specific challenges and issues the parent faces in managing their child’s asthma. Guided through phone calls, text messages, videos, and other shared content, the mentor helps the parent establish key behaviors such as the regular use of controller medications, elimination of triggers, and the correct use of quick-relief medications.

Target

Parents of children
with uncontrolled asthma.

Phone Call

Calls every
2 Weeks

SMS

Weekly 2-way
text-message
Month 1
The first month is focused on establishing rapport, staging the parent on key asthma management behaviors, and assessing the key barriers the parent wants to address.
Month 2-5
Through regular phone-, text- and smartphone app interactions, mentors help establish key asthma management behaviors through setting and achieving a series of bi-weekly SMART goals.
Month 6
By Month 6, these key asthma management behaviors have typically evolved to become ongoing habits. The end result is better management of their child's asthma and fewer hospital and emergency department visits.