Study objectives: To determine the effect of an asthma intervention program targeted to a predominantly Latino population of inner-city, adult asthma patients with a recent emergency department (ED) visit for asthma care.
Design: A prospective study measuring changes in asthma quality of life (QOL), asthma knowledge, and ED and hospital utilization in a group of patients enrolled in an outpatient asthma intervention program.
Setting: Academic medical center located in New York City (NYC) and a local community-based organization.
Participants: One hundred ninety-eight patients with asthma > 18 years of age and residing in Washington Heights/Inwood, a predominantly Latino community in NYC.
Measurements: Changes were assessed by hospital and ED utilization and mini-Juniper QOL score before and after the intervention.
Results: From July 2000 through December 2002, 198 patients agreed to be enrolled into an asthma intervention program. The mini-Juniper QOL score improved by 0.67 points. There was a 40% reduction in ED visits and a 36% reduction in hospitalizations over 1 year, compared with a 10% reduction in ED visits and no reduction in hospitalization rate for a control group who declined the intervention.
Conclusion: A culturally targeted asthma intervention program in adult individuals living in a predominantly Latino area of NYC is effective in reducing ED and hospital utilization for asthma, and improving overall asthma-related QOL.