Initiating an online asthma management program in urban emergency departments: the recruitment experience.

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Annals of allergy, asthma & immunology : official publication of the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology


BACKGROUND: The emergency department could represent a means of identifying patients with asthma who could benefit from asthma interventions.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the initiation of a Web-based tailored asthma intervention in the emergency department of 2 urban tertiary care hospitals.

METHODS: In addition to awareness strategies for emergency department staff (eg, attending nursing huddles, division meetings, etc), recruitment experiences are described for 2 strategies: (1) recruitment during an emergency department visit for acute asthma and (2) recruitment from patient listings (mail or telephone). Patient enrollment was defined as baseline completion, randomization, and completion of the first of 4 online sessions.

RESULTS: Of 499 eligible patients 13 to 19 years old visiting the emergency department for asthma during the study period, 313 (63%) were contacted in the emergency department (n = 65) or by mail or telephone (n = 350). Of these, 121 (38.6%) were randomized. Mean age of the study sample was 15.4 years and 88.4% were African American. Refusal rates for emergency department recruitment and mail or telephone were 18.5% (12 of 65) and 16.6% (58 of 350), respectively. On average, emergency department enrollment took 44 to 67 minutes, including downtime. When surveyed, emergency department providers were more positive about awareness activities and emergency department recruitment than were research staff.

CONCLUSION: Emergency department recruitment was feasible but labor intensive. Refusal rates were similar for the 2 strategies. Targeting patients with acute asthma in the emergency department is one way of connecting with youth at risk of future acute events.

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent; Adult; Asthma; Cities; Emergency Service, Hospital; Female; Health Behavior; Humans; Male; Michigan; Online Systems; Patient Compliance; Personnel Selection; Surveys and Questionnaires; Tertiary Care Centers; Young Adult

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