Improving Asthma Outcomes Through Spirometry Distance Learning

Background

Spirometry is a recommended component of asthma diagnosis and treatment in the primary care setting, yet few providers report its routine use for children with asthma.  Misclassification of asthma severity occurs when assessment is based on symptoms alone.  This misclassification can lead to inadequate treatment, increased morbidity, and increased healthcare utilization/cost.

This study was conducted by researchers from Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute and the University of Washington with collaboration from researchers at Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University.  The study was fielded within Slone Center Office-based Research (SCOR) Network and the Puget Sound Pediatric Research Network (PSPRN).

Objectives

The goal of this study was to test the effectiveness of a distance learning quality improvement program called Spirometry 360 developed by the interactive Medical Training Resources (iMTR) group at the University of Washington Child Health Institute.

Specific study objectives:

  1. To test whether exposure to the Spirometry 360 program increases the percentage of spirometry testing sessions that are graded as high quality (American Thoracic Society [ATS] grades of A or B).
  2. To assess whether exposure to the Spirometry 360 program increases the frequency with which children with asthma are prescribed appropriate controller therapy.
  3. To assess whether children with asthma receiving care in practices exposed to the Spirometry 360 program report better outcomes of care including: higher levels of asthma-specific health related quality of life, fewer unplanned outpatient visits and hospitalizations secondary to asthma exacerbations, and decreased costs of asthma care compared to children with asthma receiving care in control practices.

Results

This study is closed to enrollment.  Results are pending.

Investigators and Study Staff

Principal Investigators:

Allen A. Mitchell, M.D.
Director, Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University

Michael Corwin, M.D.
Senior Epidemiologist, Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University

Rita Mangione-Smith, M.D.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington
Investigator, Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute

James Taylor, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington
Director, Puget Sound Pediatric Research Network

James W. Stout, M.D.
Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington
Director, Spirometry 360 Program

Study Staff:

Fiona Rice, M.P.H.
Project Coordinator

Study Details

Collaborating Centers:

  • Slone Epidemiology Center SCOR Network, Boston, MA
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Seattle, WA
  • The University of Washington Child Health Institute, Seattle, WA

Source of Funding:

NIH — National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Contact Information

Fiona Rice, M.P.H.
Project Coordinator
(617) 734-6006 (Ext. 120)
fionar@bu.edu