Program

Dec 15, 2010

OVERVIEW

Parent Mentors
for Children with Asthma is a program designed to provide children and families
with a parent mentor to assist in managing the child’s asthma. An evaluation at
the 12-month post-intervention found impacts on episodes of rapid-breathing,
asthma exacerbations, emergency department visits, parent quality of life, and
parent self-efficacy. There were no impacts on episodes of wheezing, coughing,
difficultly breathing, or chest tightness, missed school days or parent work
days, asthma-related hospitalizations, asthma-related doctor visits, child
quality of life, or parent satisfaction.

DESCRIPTION
OF PROGRAM

Target
population:
Black and Latino children 2-18 years of age with a primary
diagnosis of asthma.

Parent Mentors
for Children with Asthma is a program designed to provide children and families
with a parent mentor to assist in managing the child’s asthma. Parent Mentors
are also parents who have experience caring for a child with asthma and live in
the same community as program families. As the first point of contact with the
family, the Parent Mentor visits the family home within three days of the
child’s emergency department visit or hospitalization. From there, Parent
Mentors meet on a monthly basis with children and their families at community
centers, churches, Boys and Girls Club, or some other location and have monthly
telephone contact with families. Meetings focus on asthma education and provide
opportunities for children and families to interact with one another and create
peer support. After six months, the Parent Mentor makes a second home visit with
the family. Parent Mentors are available 24-hours a day by telephone to answer
questions or concerns.

Parent Mentors
receive a two-and-a-half day training, which is conducted by a nurse asthma
specialist along with the program coordinator. Training sessions, along with the
manual, address the following topics: importance of asthma; sharing experiences
on caring for a child with asthma; helping children with asthma avoid
hospitalization; providing basic information about asthma; identifying asthma
medication and triggers; importance of regular and follow-up medical
appointments; cultural issues that may affect asthma care; basic information
about the intervention and study; and how to be a successful Parent Mentor.
Parent Mentors also receive a separate training, along with resources, about
health insurance programs for uninsured children, locations for free clinics for
care, medication and equipment information sheets, and developing friendly
reminder calendars for healthcare appointment. Parent Mentors are also provided
with information about assisting families with unmet needs for health insurance
coverage, housing, and food.

The intervention
costs approximately $121 per child participant for the first month of the
program and the last month of follow-up.

EVALUATION(S)
OF PROGRAM

Flores G,
Bridon C, Torres S, Perez R, Walter T, Brotanek J, Lin H, Tomany-Korman S.
(2009). Improving Asthma Outcomes in Minority Children: A Randomized, Controlled
Trial of Parent Mentors. Pediatrics, 124(6):1523-1532.

Evaluated population: A total of 220 black
and Latino children with asthma, and their families, participated in the study.
The mean age of the study child was seven years. Among children in the
intervention group, 40% were female, 89% had a primary care provider, 34% had
severe persistent asthma, and approximately 3% did not have health insurance
coverage. This program was confined to families residing within the Milwaukee,
WI.

Approach:
Children were randomly assigned to either the intervention group (n=112) or the
control group (n=108). Participants enrolled in the control group continued to
receive their usual asthma care with their primary care physician. Children and
families were assessed on the following: asthma symptoms and exacerbation,
missed child school days and missed parent work days, past emergency department
visits and hospitalizations, parent asthma management self-efficacy, parent and
child asthma quality of life, and parent satisfaction with child’s asthma care.
Families were assessed at baseline as well as after the intervention or 12
months after baseline. All families received a $50 incentive for agreeing to
participate in the study as well as $10 for each subsequent month they continued
to participate in the study.

Results:
At the 12-month post-intervention assessment, there were significant decreases
in episodes of rapid-breathing, asthma exacerbations, and emergency department
visits among those in the intervention group compared with the control group.
There were also significant increases in parent quality of life and parent
self-efficacy among those in the intervention group compared with the control
group. There were no significant differences between the two study groups for
episodes of wheezing, coughing, difficultly breathing, or chest tightness,
missed school days or parent work days, asthma-related hospitalizations,
asthma-related doctor visits, child quality of life, and parent satisfaction.

SOURCES FOR
MORE INFORMATION

For more
information, including the parent mentor training manual, please visit:

http://www4.utsouthwestern.edu/ParentMentor/

References

Flores G, Bridon
C, Torres S, Perez R, Walter T, Brotanek J, Lin H, Tomany-Korman S. (2009).
Improving Asthma Outcomes in Minority Children: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
of Parent Mentors. Pediatrics, 124(6):1523-1532.

Program
categorized in this guide according to the following:

Evaluated
participant ages: Children (3-11)

Program
components: Mentoring, Home-based, Community-based

Measured
outcomes: Physical Health

KEYWORDS:
Children (3-11), Black/African-American, Home Visitation, Mentoring,
Parent/Family Component, Health Status/Conditions, Manual Available, Cost
Information Available, Parent Education.

Program information last updated on 12/15/10.