Online Program

Improving Asthma-related Morbidity Among Underserved Adult Populations

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tala Schwindt, MPH, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Jessica Ramsay, MPH, AE-C, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health Systems, Chicago, IL
Thu Nguyen, MPH, AE-C, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Kim Artis, AA, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Madeline Woodberry, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
Helen Margellos-Anast, MPH, Sinai Urban Health Institute, Sinai Health System, Chicago, IL
One in twelve people nationally are living with asthma. Of these 25 million people, nearly 73% are adults. Studies consistently show asthma prevalence and associated morbidity to be highest among African American adults and those living below the federal poverty level. Compared with their non-Hispanic White counterparts, African Americans in Chicago are eight times more likely to die from asthma, nine times more likely to visit the ED and six times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma. The Helping Chicago’s Westside Adults Breathe and Thrive program is one of the first across the country to implement the Community Health Worker (CHW) model to work exclusively with adults with asthma to improve management and reduce asthma-related morbidity.  CHWs visit the homes of adults with uncontrolled asthma living on Chicago’s Westside six times in one year, providing asthma self-management education.  Additionally, CHWs assist program participants with finding a primary care physician and connecting them with other medical and social services.  After 13 months of active recruitment, 117 adults have been enrolled in the program. We have already seen a 60% reduction in daytime symptoms for the 40 (34%) adults who have completed six months of follow-up. Additionally, hospitalizations due to asthma have decreased by 66% and asthma-related ED visits have decreased by 56%. Preliminary results from one of the first adult-focused, CHW-led home-based interventions are promising.  Such results will help strengthen evidence that CHWs are effective at improving overall asthma management among African American adults living in underserved areas.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current state of asthma-related health disparities among non-Hispanic Blacks living in poverty-stricken areas across the United States. Discuss how the CHW model can be effective at improving asthma management among adults living in underserved areas.

Keyword(s): Community Health Workers and Promoters, Health Disparities/Inequities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a Senior Epidemiologist and disparities researcher with the Sinai Urban Health Institute (SUHI), I have been involved with the design, implementation and evaluation of seven community-based interventions to improve asthma outcomes since I joined SUHI in January 2001. Each study has built on prior projects and examined the utility of the Community Health Worker (CHW) model whereby CHWs educate children, caregivers and adults to improve asthma management.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.