Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences


Interdepartmental Program

First Advisor

Cynthia Willey


NIH guidelines recommend treatment of moderate or severe childhood asthma with preventive anti-inflammatory medication (inhaled corticosteroids. cromolyn or nedocromil). The guidelines also emphasize providing patient education.

The study objectives were a) to determine if the NIH guidelines for the treatment of childhood asthma were implemented by prescribing preventive medication. b) to determine if the NIH guidelines for the treatment of childhood asthma were implemented by providing patient education and c) to measure the influence of primary care physicians prescribing in accordance with the NIH guidelines on adverse clinical outcomes. Adverse clinical outcomes were measured by severe asthma exacerbations resulting in: hospital admissions. emergency department visits or a course of oral steroids from the primary care physicians.

The data were collected from primary-care physicians in nine managed care plans in the northeastern USA. 311 children enrolled in Medicaid (aged 2-19 years) were identified as having a diagnosis and treatment for asthma during the period January through December 1994. Detailed clinical and pharmacy data were extracted from medical records by nurse reviewers for the period January 1993 through March 1995.

The NIH guidelines for the use of preventive anti-inflammatory medication were implemented on at least one occasion for 61.1% of the children with moderate or severe asthma in this Medicaid population during 1994. Patient education was provided to 41.8% of the children. Cox regression analyses showed prescribing preventive medication for moderate to severe asthmatics in accordance with the NIH guidelines was associated with a reduced risk of receiving a course of oral steroids.

The findings of the present study suggest that many children with moderate or severe asthma were not prescribed preventive medication or provided education by primary care providers as recommended in the NIH guidelines. Inadequate implementation of the NIH guidelines for prescribing preventive medications was associated with adverse clinical outcomes.



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