A study of the Community Asthma Initiative found that the seemingly expensive program more than paid for itself in reduced ER visits and hospitalizations.
A program developed in Boston has the potential to make asthma a lot less troublesome for children all over the country. Targeted to children in low-income families, the program substantially lowered emergency room visits, hospitalizations and school days missed due to asthma.
A key part of the program is a visit to the child's home by a nurse or other health care worker to make the home less likely to trigger asthma attacks. And according to a recently published study, the program pays for itself.
Missed school days dropped by 41 percent, and missed workdays of parents needing to care for their children dropped by 50 percent.
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About 10% of U.S. children have asthma. This rate is much higher in many low-income areas. To help address this problem, clinicians at Children's Hospital in Boston developed a program called Community Asthma Initiative (CAI) in 2005. Using hospitalization and emergency department logs, 283 low-income children with asthma were identified and then enrolled.