Interventions to Improve Outcomes for Minority Adults with Asthma

A Systematic Review

Today, nearly 20 million Americans have asthma, a number that is expected to rise and by 2020 affect one in 14 Americans. Minority patients bear a greater proportion of burden from asthma than Whites with higher rates for emergency department use, hospitalization and mortality.

These researchers conducted a systematic review of the literature to answer the question: “What interventions work best to improve outcomes for minority adult Americans with asthma?” They found 24 articles met their inclusion criteria, “a surprising dearth of intervention studies that address the health disparities of racial and/or ethnic minority adults with asthma in the U.S.”

Among the characteristics of the studies:

  • African Americans were the study population most frequently targeted (14 studies), followed by Latinos (4) and Asian Americans (1), or some combination (5).
  • Interventions fell into two categories—education based (15) or systems-level (9).
  • The most common outcome measured was health care utilization (emergency department visits, hospital admissions, outpatient visits or length of stay), followed by symptom control and self-management skills.

The researchers report that “a variety of educational modalities appeared effective at improving outcomes for minority patients with asthma,” including point-of-care education