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Patient Advocates for Low-Income Adults with Moderate to Severe Asthma: A Randomized Clinical Trial.


ABSTRACT:

Background

Few interventions have targeted low-income adults with moderate to severe asthma despite their high mortality.

Objective

To assess whether a patient advocate (PA) intervention improves asthma outcomes over usual care (UC).

Methods

This 2-armed randomized clinical trial recruited adults with moderate to severe asthma from primary care and asthma-specialty practices serving low-income neighborhoods. Patients were randomized to 6 months of a PA intervention or UC. PAs were recent college graduates anticipating health care careers, who coached, modeled, and assisted participants with preparations for asthma-related medical visits, attended visits, and confirmed participants' understanding of provider recommendations. Participants were followed for at least a year for patient-centered asthma outcomes: asthma control (primary outcome), quality of life, prednisone requirements, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations.

Results

There were 312 participants. Their mean age was 51 years (range, 19-93 years), 69% were women, 66% African American, 8% Hispanic/Latino, 62% reported hospitalization for asthma in the year before randomization, 21% had diabetes, and 61% had a body mass index of 30 or more. Asthma control improved over 12 months, more in the intervention group (-0.45 [95% CI, -0.67 to -0.21]) than in the UC group (-0.26 [95% CI, -0.53 to -0.01]), and was sustained at 24 months but with no statistical difference between groups. The 6-month rate of emergency department visits decreased in the intervention (-0.90 [95% CI, -1.56 to -0.42]) and UC (-0.42 [95% CI, -0.72 to -0.06]) groups over 12 months. The cost of the PA program was $1521 per patient. Only 64% of those assigned had a PA visit.

Conclusions

A PA may be a promising intervention to improve and sustain outcomes in this high-risk population if expanded to address factors that make keeping appointments difficult.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7924969 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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