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Asthma Care from Home: evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness of virtually enabled asthma care initiative for children in rural NSW

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

  • Translational Research Grants Scheme
Date Funded:
  • 1 July, 2022
Chief Investigator/s:
  • Dr. Nusrat Homaira
  • Melinda Gray

Project Summary

Asthma Care from Home: Evaluating impact, implementation and cost-effectiveness of comprehensive asthma care closer to home for rural children.

The main researchers for this project are Dr Nusrat Homaira and Mrs Melinda Gray.

What is the issue for NSW?

More than 10,000 children present to hospitals with asthma attacks in NSW every year. Frequent asthma hospital presentation is a marker of poorly controlled disease and can result from inadequate asthma education, failure to mitigate environmental triggers, lack of coordination within and between healthcare services and sub-optimal support in the community. This situation is further complicated for families of the 50,000 children with asthma living in rural NSW. Rural families have 20% less disposable income than urban families; journeys are eight times longer, children can miss two days of school and their parents/carers two days of work for medical appointments, not to mention the large costs of overnight stays. Innovative, technology-enabled models of care are needed so that comprehensive care can be delivered closer to home and continuity of care can be ensured for children with asthma in rural areas.

What does the research aim to do and how?

Asthma Care from Home aims to evaluate a comprehensive and integrated model of asthma care that supports families, communities and healthcare providers, is flexible and locally acceptable, and adopts technologies so that care can be provided ‘from home’. This will reduce the burden of preventable asthma hospital presentations and ensure patients’ and families’ satisfaction with healthcare delivery. This project will include impact, implementation and economic evaluations using a quasi-experimental design across three rural sites.

The project will assess:

  • Hospital utilisation (Emergency department presentations, hospital admissions, and outpatient appointments), and associated costs.
  • Child asthma specific and generic quality of life and medication adherence.
  • Parental quality of life, asthma self-management knowledge and reported satisfaction of care.