Socioeconomic, family, and pediatric practice factors that affect level of asthma control

Gordon R. Bloomberg, Christina Banister, Randall Sterkel, Jay Epstein, Julie Bruns, Lisa Swerczek, Suzanne Wells, Yan Yan, Jane M. Garbutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Multiple issues play a role in the effective control of childhood asthma. OBJECTIVE. To identify factors related to the level of asthma control in children receiving asthma care from community pediatricians. PATIENTS AND METHODS. Data for 362 children participating in an intervention study to reduce asthma morbidity were collected by a telephone-administered questionnaire. Level of asthma control (well controlled, partially controlled, or poorly controlled) was derived from measures of recent impairment (symptoms, activity limitations, albuterol use) and the number of exacerbations in a 12-month period. Data also included demographic characteristics, asthma-related quality of life, pediatric management practices, and medication usage. Univariable and multivariable analyses were used to identify factors associated with poor asthma control and to explore the relationship between control and use of daily controller medications. RESULTS. Asthma was well controlled for 24% of children, partially controlled for 20%, and poorly controlled for 56%. Medicaid insurance, the presence of another family member with asthma, and maternal employment outside the home were significant univariable factors associated with poor asthma control. Medicaid insurance had an independent association with poor control. Seventy-six percent of children were reported by parents as receiving a daily controller medication. Comparison of guideline recommended controller medication with current level of asthma control indicated that a higher step level of medication would have been appropriate for 74% of these children. Significantly lower overall quality-of-life scores were observed in both parents and children with poor control. CONCLUSIONS. Despite substantial use of daily controller medication, children with asthma continue to experience poorly controlled asthma and reduced quality of life. Although Medicaid insurance and aspects of family structure are significant factors associated with poorly controlled asthma, attention to medication use and quality-of-life indicators may further reduce morbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-835
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Asthma control
  • Asthma outcomes
  • Childhood asthma


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