The Pediatric Asthma Control and Communication Instrument for the Emergency Department (PACCI-ED) improves physician assessment of asthma morbidity in pediatric emergency department patients.

J Asthma. 2013 Nov 13. Goldberg EM, Laskowski-Kos U, Wu D, Gutierrez J, Bilderback A, Okelo S, Garro A. Department of Emergency Medicine, the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI.

Objectives: To determine whether the Pediatric Asthma Control and Communication Instrument for the Emergency Department (PACCI-ED), a 12-item questionnaire, can help ED attendings accurately assess a patient's asthma control and morbidity.

Methods: This was a randomized-controlled trial performed at an urban pediatric ED of children age 1-17 presenting with an asthma exacerbation. Parents answered PACCI-ED questions about their children's asthma. Attendings were randomized to view responses to the PACCI-ED (intervention group) or to be blinded to the completed PACCI-ED (control group). The two groups were compared on their empirical clinical assessment of: 1) chronic asthma control categories, 2) asthma trajectory (stable, worsening or improving), 3) patient adherence to controller medications, and 4) burden of disease for the patient's family. The validated PACCI algorithm was used as the criterion standard for these four outcomes. Accuracy of clinical assessment was compared between intervention and control groups using chi-squared tests and an intention-to-treat approach.

Results: Seventeen ED attendings were enrolled in the study and 77 children visits were included in the analysis. There were no significant differences between the intervention and the control groups for child's gender, age, race, and asthma characteristics. Intervention group attendings were more accurate than control group attendings in assessing the category of chronic asthma control (43% vs. 19%; p=0.03), disease trajectory (72% vs. 45%; p=0.02), and the disease burden for families (74% vs. 35%; p = 0.001) over the past 12 months. There was a trend towards more accuracy of intervention versus control attendings for estimating patient adherence to controller medications (72% vs. 48%; p=0.06).

Conclusions: The PACCI-ED improves the assessment of asthma control, trajectory, and burden by ED attendings, and may help assessment of asthma medication adherence and prior asthma exacerbations. The PACCI-ED can be used to improve provider assessment of asthma morbidity during pediatric ED visits for asthma exacerbations, and to identify children who may benefit from interventions to reduce asthma morbidity.

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