Reducing Parental Stress to Improve Children’s Asthma Outcomes

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , , , , , , /

We used our PCORI award to focus on a very
unique population of moms and dads of kids with asthma. We didn’t actually focus on the children
themselves; we focused on their parents. We did it for a very specific reason, because
we sought to see whether an intervention deliberately designed to mitigate parental stress, psychosocial
stress, could ameliorate or could reduce the symptoms that their child was feeling. So the idea was that we know that asthma is
confounded by paternal stress–strong associations between the degree of stress and outcomes
in the child, all right, and nobody had ever studied whether a deliberate intervention
to mitigate that parental stress could actually improve child outcomes, so we deliberately
sought parents of children, pre-adolescence aged four to twelve, who were African-American,
who were disadvantaged on the basis of being insured by Medicaid, and who had persistent
asthma. And that was our sweet spot, so we identified
the children first, and then sought to enroll their parents, and the end enrolled the diet
of both the parent and the child. The Patient Advisory Council actually is something
that came out of our patient partners and the stakeholders in our PCORI project. We saw that, you know, having the parents
so engaged in the process … was something that we could actually extend to other research
projects that we had outside of our PCORI project. So, the Patient Advisory Council was pretty
much birthed out of our stakeholder engagement with the PCORI project, and so far it’s
been amazing. We had our first meeting about a couple weeks
ago, and we involved not only our PCORI parents, but also parents from other research projects
as well. We are most proud for having completed the
project originally as we conceived it. We enrolled our target population over the
time period we sought to do it, we delivered the intervention with very high fidelity,
it was extremely well received by our patient population. Our follow-up rates of this often-times difficult
to follow population–they’re disadvantaged urban moms with intermittent phone access–we
really were successful in all of those domains, and right now we’re looking at the final
results of the project to see that what kind of impact we had with our behavioral health
intervention targeting psychosocial stress in the moms and the dads of our kids with
asthma, and we’ll have those results shortly.

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