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Pediatrics. 1984 Oct;74(4):478-86.

A randomized trial of A.C.T. (asthma care training) for kids.


A randomized control trial of a curriculum, A.C.T. (Asthma Care Training) for Kids, was conducted. Seventy-six children between the ages of 8 and 12 years, whose asthma required treatment with medications at least 25% of the days per month, were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. The control group received 4 1/2 hours of lecture presentations on asthma and its management. The experimental groups (consisting of four to seven children and their parents) received five 1-hour sessions comprising "the treatment." Children and their parents were interviewed before the sessions and 3, 6, and 12 months after the completion of the experimental treatment. Use of emergency rooms and hospitals was determined by reviewing the records of these patients (all members of the Los Angeles Kaiser Permanente health care system) for the period of 1 year before and 1 year after the treatment. Results include (1) equivalent increases in knowledge and changes in beliefs in both groups, (2) significant changes in the self-reported compliance behaviors of the experimental group only, and (3) significant reductions in emergency room visits and days of hospitalization among those receiving the experimental treatment, compared with the control group. These changes represent an estimated savings of approximately $180 per child per year for those in the experimental group.

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