West Philadelphia Asthma Care

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The Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) has a two-decade history of utilizing Community Health Workers (CHWs) to improve asthma outcomes of children in Philadelphia. CAPP established a network of stakeholders, The West Philadelphia Asthma Care Collaborative (WEPACC), with representation from public housing, healthcare, community, and schools. Through a local needs assessment, resource mapping, and more than a year of planning, these stakeholders designed an asthma care implementation program with the objective of integrating home, school, healthcare system, and community for school-aged asthmatic children in West Philadelphia. CHWs deliver sustainable patient-centered evidence-based interventions and also function as the hub, serving as either primary care or school CHWs to provide a network of education, care coordination support, and to facilitate communication for families of children with asthma. This collaboration is innovative in that it seeks to integrate interventions in a comprehensive and sustainable manner to reduce asthma disparities in low-income, minority children.

Research Project

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute is funding the West Philadelphia Controls Asthma Study, a randomized controlled trial evaluating WEPACC with participant-level randomization to a primary care intervention and cluster randomization of schools to a school intervention to determine if using CHWs to connect home, school, healthcare system and community for low-income minority school-aged asthmatic children and their caregivers improves asthma control and thereby reduces asthma disparities in the West Philadelphia community.

Six hundred school-aged asthmatic children are being recruited from inner-city primary care clinics to one of four study conditions: Both interventions (primary care and school intervention), primary care or school intervention only, or control. The study’s objectives include comparing the effectiveness of the primary care and school interventions to improve asthma control, exploring moderators and mechanisms of effectiveness of the interventions, and examining the costs, savings, and cost effectiveness associated with implementing the intervention.