Telephone coaching benefits parents of children with asthma

July 29, 2010

A coaching program administered via telephone for parents of children with asthma can improve their quality of life and can be put into operation without additional doctor training or practice redesign, according to a study published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

A coaching program administered via telephone for parents of children with asthma can improve their quality of life and can be put into operation without additional doctor training or practice redesign, according to a study published in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Jane M. Garbutt, MB, ChB, and colleagues compared usual care with coaching in a community-based sample of 362 families with children aged 5 to 12 years who had persistent asthma. Participants were randomly assigned to a control group receiving usual care or to a group that participated in a 12-month telephone coaching program in which trained coaches educated and supported parents related to four asthma management behaviors.

The investigators measured parental and child quality of life using a validated, interview-administered, seven-point instrument. A records audit determined urgent care events-such as unscheduled office visits, after-hours calls, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations-in a year.

Parental asthma-related quality of life scores improved by an average of 0.67 units in the intervention group compared with 0.28 units in the control group. No between-group difference was found in the change in the child’s quality of life or in the mean number of urgent care events per year. The proportion of children with very poorly controlled asthma in the intervention group decreased compared with the proportion in the control group.