BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The use of accounting asthma activity affairs (WAAPs) has been associated with bargain asthma-related morbidity, but there are apropos about their complexity. We developed a bloom literacy–informed, pictogram- and photograph-based WAAP and advised whether providers who acclimated it, with no training, would accept bigger asthma counseling affection compared with those who acclimated a accepted plan.
METHODS: Physicians at 2 bookish centers randomized to use a low-literacy or accepted activity plan (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology) to admonition the bookish ancestor of adolescent with abstinent assiduous asthma (regimen: Flovent 110 μg 2 puffs alert daily, Singulair 5 mg daily, Albuterol 2 puffs every 4 hours as needed). Two addled raters apart advised counseling transcriptions. Primary aftereffect measures: medication instructions presented with times of day (eg, morning and night vs cardinal of times per day) and inhaler color; spacer use recommended; charge for accustomed medications, alike aback sick, addressed; and absolute affection used.
RESULTS: 119 providers were about assigned (61 low literacy, 58 standard). Providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan were added acceptable to use times of day (eg, Flovent morning and night, 96.7% vs 51.7%, P < .001; allowance arrangement [OR] = 27.5; 95% aplomb breach [CI], 6.1–123.4), acclaim spacer use (eg, Albuterol, 83.6% vs 43.1%, P < .001; OR = 6.7; 95% CI, 2.9–15.8), abode charge for circadian medications aback ailing (93.4% vs 34.5%, P < .001; OR = 27.1; 95% CI, 8.6–85.4), use absolute affection (eg, “ribs appearance aback breathing,” 54.1% vs 3.4%, P < .001; OR = 33.0; 95% CI, 7.4–147.5). Few mentioned inhaler color. Beggarly (SD) counseling time was agnate (3.9 [2.5] vs 3.8 [2.6] minutes, P = .8).
CONCLUSIONS: Use of a low-literacy WAAP improves the affection of asthma counseling by allowance providers ambition key issues by appliance recommended bright advice principles.
Asthma activity plan use is recommended to abate asthma-related morbidity, but there are apropos about their capability in low-literacy populations. Bloom literacy–informed approaches accept been affiliated to bigger accommodating outcomes but accept not been able-bodied advised in adolescent asthma.
A low-literacy, pictographic and authentic accounting asthma activity plan may advice providers ambition key issues in asthma administering and use recommended attempt of bright bloom communication, afterwards the charge for training and afterwards added time burden.
National and all-embracing guidelines for asthma administering board the advocacy that accounting asthma activity affairs (WAAPs) be provided to all patients with asthma.1 These activity affairs advice families accept circadian antitoxin affliction and adapted evidence management. Provision of WAAPs has been associated with greater medication adherence2 and bargain bloom affliction utilization, including beneath asthma-related hospitalizations and emergency administering visits.3,4 However, there are questions about the capability of WAAPs aback acclimated with low-literacy populations. Provider affair that activity affairs are too circuitous may be a acumen why WAAPs are accustomed to beneath than bisected of asthmatic patients.5–9 Key domains of asthma administering cited as actuality decidedly ambiguous board confounding of medication instructions (confusion about dosage and timing, mix-ups amid circadian and antitoxin medications10,11), suboptimal spacer use,1,12,13 abridgement of ambassador medication use (persistent asthmatics),14 and adversity acquainted affection of austere exacerbations.15,16
Low bloom articulacy (HL) is acceptable to accord to poor administering of adolescent asthma. Asthmatic accouchement of parents with low HL are at accident for worse asthma-related outcomes, including greater asthma evidence severity and college assay rates.17,18 Use of HL-informed counseling strategies (eg, advise back, easy-to-read accounting materials) has been begin to advance comprehension, ache management, and outcomes for assorted bloom altitude but has not been able-bodied advised for asthma.19–24 Low-literacy accounting abstracts acclimated as allotment of counseling can activity providers a framework with which to admonition patients and their families, bidding them to focus on specific issues and acknowledging the use of apparent language.21 Unfortunately, few low-literacy accoutrement to advance asthma administering exist. US asthma activity affairs are frequently accounting aloft a sixth-grade account level,9 and about do not use a HL-informed admission to layout, graphics, and content.9,25 In addition, abounding affairs charge be abounding in by hand,9 accidental to airheadedness and errors in interpretation. One activity that could advice assimilate the presentation of medication instructions and abutment provider use of HL attempt is the use of a computer-generated, low-literacy asthma activity plan.6 To date, few studies of HL-informed approaches to advance asthma administering accept been conducted.26–30 We accordingly accustomed to appraise whether physicians who use a low-literacy, pictogram- and photograph-based WAAP would authenticate higher-quality asthma counseling compared with those who use a accepted plan acute alone provider completion, and whether differences abide by factors ahead begin to affect asthma care, including physician training level, asthma affliction experience, and gender.31–35 We accepted that those who acclimated the low-literacy WAAP would be added acceptable to abode key asthma administering issues by appliance bright advice attempt and that all-embracing the account of the low-literacy WAAP would be agnate beyond domains behindhand of physician characteristics.
This was a randomized controlled abstraction to appraise whether use of a low-literacy WAAP can advance provider asthma counseling, as adjourned with a bookish book involving a ancestor of a adolescent with assiduous asthma. The institutional assay boards of New York University (NYU) and Northwestern and the Assay Analysis Committee of Bellevue Hospital accustomed this study.
Study capacity were recruited from NYU and Northwestern amid June 17, 2012 and October 9, 2012. A accessibility sample of physicians was adjourned to actuate eligibility. We included pediatricians who affliction for accouchement with asthma (ie, association [minimum end of intern year], fellows, attendings). Accounting a accord was obtained. Assay administering (RAs) emphasized that accord was autonomous and that calm advice would not be aggregate with supervisors.
Enrolled providers were about assigned to accept the low-literacy WAAP (Fig 1) or a accepted WAAP accustomed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI).36 Randomization was performed with closed envelopes blocked by physician training akin (first, second, third year, adolescent or attending). Accomplished RAs delivered the activity afterwards administering the accomplishments interview.
Pictogram- and photograph-based low-literacy asthma activity plan.
Table 1 compares the appearance of the low-literacy and accepted WAAPs. The low-literacy WAAP is an addendum of the HELPix (Health Education and Articulacy for Parents) pictogram-based medication apprenticeship area intervention.19 It was developed through a collaborative activity that included parents, pediatricians, asthma specialists, nurses, bloom educators, and bloom articulacy experts, involving 1:1 interviews and accumulation discussions. Feedback was advisedly accustomed from parents with low articulacy who had accouchement with abstinent to astringent asthma.
Comparison of Appearance of the Low-Literacy Pictogram- and Photograph-Based Activity Plan and Accepted Activity Plan
Providers about assigned to accept the accepted WAAP were provided with the AAAAI activity plan; the AAAAI plan is amid the bigger affairs of those that are nationally accessible with account to adherence to HL-informed attempt such as blueprint and content. Medication advice is abounding out by a provider aural a table format.9
Trained RAs conducted abrupt interviews with anniversary bloom affliction provider. RAs and providers were addled to randomization cachet until aloof afore the provider was asked to use either the low-literacy or accepted WAAP to admonition a ancestor of an asthmatic accommodating by appliance a bookish scenario. Because providers acclimated the activity plan to admonition the RA, it was not accessible to dark either accumulation already the counseling allocation of the appraisal began. No actor incentives were provided.
Providers were asked to use the assigned WAAP to admonition a bookish ancestor of a adolescent with abstinent assiduous asthma on the afterward regimen: Singulair (montelukast sodium) 5 mg already a day, Flovent (fluticasone propionate) 110 μg/actuation 2 puffs alert a day, and Albuterol 90 μg/actuation 2 puffs every 4 hours as needed. Providers about assigned to accept the AAAAI plan were aboriginal asked to ample out the bare anatomy with the child’s medication information. Providers were accustomed the befalling to booty as abundant time as they bare to accessory at their assigned plan and authenticate counseling. Providers were instructed, “Please pretend that I am the ancestor of a adolescent who has afresh been diagnosed with asthma. Use the activity plan as you commonly would for counseling, to advise me how to administrate my child’s asthma on a evidence chargeless day, aback my adolescent has some symptoms, as able-bodied as aback my adolescent has astringent asthma symptoms.” Counseling was audio recorded. Audio recordings were transcribed by 1 of 3 accomplished RAs addled to activity status, with assay of authentic archetype by a added RA.
Primary aftereffect measures focused on the use of bright advice attempt during counseling aural 4 key domains: presentation of medication instructions based on times of day (ie, “morning” and “night”; bigger to cardinal of times/day, eg, “2×/day”) and inhaler colors mentioned; spacer use (inhaler medications); charge for accustomed medications, alike aback sick, mentioned generally, and specific acknowledgment of Flovent and Singulair in chicken zone; and absolute words acclimated to present affection of austere deepening (eg, “ribs appearance aback breathing” adopted over “difficulty breathing”).
Selection of the characteristics advised aural anniversary audio-recorded counseling affair was guided by assay of the abstract on aspects advised to be important from analytic and HL perspectives.1 The final account was created with ascribe from 2 clinicians and HL experts (H.S.Y., B.P.D.), 2 analyst asthma experts (S.T., R.S.G.), and a cerebral scientist and HL able (M.S.W.). Transcriptions of anniversary counseling affair were advised and apart coded by 2 RAs (D.C.S., C.W.) addled to activity status, accomplished by 1 of the authors (H.S.Y.).
Secondary outcomes included counseling continuance and provider plan preference. Afterwards the audio recording, providers were apparent the activity plan they were not about assigned to and asked, “Which of these two asthma activity affairs would you adopt to use aback counseling parents of accouchement with asthma?”
We adjourned provider sociodemographic characteristics, including age, gender, country of birth, chase andethnicity afore provider counseling. Provider training akin was categorized as citizen year 1, 2, 3, and adolescent or attending.
Provider asthma-related acquaintance was adjourned via a structured questionnaire. Abundance of accouterment analytic affliction to accouchement with asthma was adjourned with the question, “How about do you board analytic affliction to accouchement with asthma?” (often, sometimes, or rarely). Antecedent use of WAAPs was adjourned with 2 questions: “How about do you admonition appliance a accounting asthma activity plan?” (often, sometimes, rarely, or never), and “How assured are you that you can explain an asthma activity plan to parents so that they accept how to accurately administrate their child’s asthma?” (confident, somewhat confident, hardly confident, or not confident).
Data were analyzed in SPSS 20.0 (IBM SPSS Statistics, IBM Corporation). For all analyses, a 2-tailed P bulk of ≤.05 was advised to be statistically significant. χ2 and logistic corruption were performed to appraise outcomes by randomization status; subgroup analyses were conducted to appraise differences by physician training akin (resident vs adolescent or attending), how about analytic affliction was provided to asthmatic accouchement (often vs sometimes/rarely), and gender. Interrater believability was aerial (κ ambit 0.76–0.98, average 0.92), based on acceding or altercation for scoring of anniversary activity plan appropriate actuality present or absent. A third analyst (H.S.Y.) provided an absolute assay in cases of antagonistic rating, with majority aphorism acclimated in cases of discordance.
Sample admeasurement estimates were based on the aftereffect of spacer use. Spacer use is associated with bigger asthma outcomes,12,45,46 and counseling about spacer use is advised the accepted of affliction in asthma management.1 Based on ahead calm pilot abstracts from our clinic, we estimated a baseline bulk of provider admittance of spacer use as allotment of activity plan counseling as actuality ∼50%. We affected a sample admeasurement of ∼120 parents to accomplish 80% adeptness (2-sided α = 0.05) to ascertain an admission in bulk to 75% to 80% in the accumulation accepting the low-literacy activity plan compared with the accumulation appliance the accepted plan.
In total, 119 providers were enrolled (61 low-literacy, 58 accepted WAAP) (Fig 2). Beyond groups, providers were agnate with account to age, gender, race,ethnicity, and antecedent asthma-related acquaintance (Table 2).
Study Population Characteristics by Randomization Group
Providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan were added acceptable to acclaim a time of day for demography circadian medications rather than appliance cardinal of times per day (eg, Flovent, 96.7% vs 51.7%, P < .001; allowance arrangement [OR] = 27.5; 95% aplomb breach [CI], 6.1–123.4) (Table 3).
Provider Counseling Strategies Acclimated by Randomization Group
More than 80% of providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan mentioned spacers with Flovent and Albuterol; beneath than bisected who acclimated the accepted plan did so (P < .001) (Table 3).
Providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan were added acceptable to reinforce the charge for accustomed medications, alike aback the adolescent is ailing (93.4% vs 34.5%, P < .001; OR = 27.1; 95% CI, 8.6–85.4), including actuality added acceptable to accurately acknowledgment medication names.
Providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan were added acceptable to use absolute respiratory signs and affection such as “ribs appearance aback breathing” (54.1% vs 3.4%, P < .001; OR = 33.0; 95% CI, 7.4–147.5) (Table 3).
The beggarly (SD) bulk of time acclimated for counseling was agnate in the 2 groups (3.9 [2.5] vs 3.8 [2.6] minutes, P = .8). Added than 90% of providers in both groups adopted the low-literacy plan (96.7% vs 93.1%, P = .6).
No constant patterns were begin with activity plan impacts by provider characteristics, although some abandoned examples were present. Presentation of medication abundance bigger to a greater admeasurement for advisers and accessory physicians compared with association because of a abate cardinal of accepted plan advisers and accessory physicians appliance the low-literacy strategy. For example, advising Flovent in the morning and night added added for advisers and accessory physicians (100% vs 36.4%, P < .001) than association (94.6% vs 61.1%, P = .002). There was a greater admission in accretion of the charge to accord accustomed medications, alike aback sick, for providers with beneath asthma affliction acquaintance (96.0% vs 22.7%, P < .001) compared with providers with added acquaintance (94.3% vs 41.7%, P < .001). Presentation of affection of austere exacerbations added to a greater amount for advisers and accessory physicians than for residents. For example, advertence ribs assuming added added for advisers and accessory physicians (70.8% vs 4.5%, P < .001) than for association (43.2% vs 2.8%, P < .001). There were no differences by gender.
This abstraction examines whether a computer-generated HL-informed WAAP, acclimated afterwards antecedent training, can advance physician adeptness to admonition about pediatric asthma administering compared with a accepted WAAP acute physician completion. We begin that physicians who acclimated the low-literacy WAAP to admonition a bookish ancestor of a adolescent with assiduous asthma were added acceptable to use bright advice attempt than those who acclimated the accepted plan and that, overall, physicians adopted the low-literacy plan.
Although low-literacy accounting abstracts are about anticipation to anon account families by giving them admission to easy-to-understand information, this abstraction demonstrates how low-literacy abstracts can additionally advance the affection of physician counseling by giving providers a framework for counseling that prompts them to abode key issues accepted to be difficult for families to grasp. Accounting abstracts can additionally be advised to abutment provider use of evidence-based advice strategies accepted to aerate learning, including partitioning, or alignment advice into comestible chunks, as able-bodied as clay specific apparent accent diction to explain ambagious medical concepts.47
Guided by the architecture acclimated to portray medication instructions and the associated pictograms on the low-literacy WAAP, about all providers about assigned to accept the low-literacy WAAP gave instructions for aback to booty circadian medications by appliance time of day (eg, “morning and night”) instead of beneath specific instructions, such as “twice a day.” A majority of providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan recommended spacer use and able the accent of continuing circadian medications alike aback sick. Clay of specific diction led providers who acclimated the low-literacy plan to use absolute words to call respiratory signs and symptoms. These allegation authenticate how a anxious redesign of WAAPs can be acclimated to systematically access the agreeable and appearance of provider counseling. Additionally, our subgroup analyses did not acknowledge able-bodied differences by provider characteristics, suggesting that the account of the low-literacy plan is acceptable to be apparent behindhand of physician training level, asthma affliction experience, or gender.
Interestingly, although the low-literacy WAAP we developed included photographs of the inhalers as a activity to abode the affair of ancestor botch of accustomed and accomplishment medications, few providers mentioned inhaler blush as one way to analyze amid inhaler types. This may be because providers anticipate that the blush is already axiomatic in the photographs. Providers may additionally anticipate that because all-encompassing albuterol comes in altered colors, the blush of the inhaler apparent on the activity plan may not bout the blush of the inhaler the ancestor receives from the pharmacy. Added abstraction is bare to appraise what strategies would be best able for acclamation the botheration of circadian and accomplishment inhaler mix-ups by parents. A systems admission to this affair could board industry-wide change such that all accomplishment medications are consistently 1 blush and aliment medications accession color, an admission that has been acclimated in countries alfresco the United States.11,48,49
The charge for provider training has been begin to be a barrier to accomplishing of HL-informed interventions50; this abstraction demonstrates that improvements in provider counseling affection can activity artlessly with bigger accounting abstracts that serve as a axle for structured counseling. Notably, we additionally begin no aberration in counseling continuance with the low-literacy WAAP, acknowledging the achievability of implementing our pictogram-based WAAP. Additionally, provider acceptability was high.
Currently, there exists a advanced ambit of asthma activity plans; no accepted accepted plan architecture is available.25 Implementing the low-literacy computer-generated WAAP could advice abate airheadedness in the address in which instructions are provided. A move to accepting a nationally available, evidence-based low-literacy asthma activity plan could advice advance ancestor and accommodating understanding, adherence, and, ultimately, asthma outcomes.
This abstraction has several limitations. This was not a abstraction of real-world practice; a bookish book was used. Use of the bookish book apparently bound the alternate conversations that ability about activity amid parents and providers; a abstraction is in advance involving absolute medication regimens. We compared our low-literacy plan with a distinct activity plan, not with the abounding ambit of affairs available. However, because there is no distinct accepted civic plan, we chose what we advised to be one of the bigger affairs of those that were nationally available. We additionally did not appraise the time it would booty for a provider to ample in accommodating dieting advice to accomplish the patient-specific forms appliance a computer application, although we apprehend that if the bearing of activity affairs is affiliated to the cyberbanking medical record, such advice could calmly be prepopulated into the form, aspersing provider time burden. Our aggregation has ahead acclimated this archetypal for the bearing of low-literacy medication apprenticeship bedding for medications assigned in the outpatient setting.51 Notably, as is archetypal for abounding activity plans, the AAAAI requires providers to ample in a patient’s medication regimen. For this study, we did not appraise the implications of prepopulating the AAAAI activity plan with times of day for medication administering and absolute symptoms. In addition, the low-literacy activity plan was advised as a whole; added abstraction would be bare to appraise which aspects of the activity plan were best important. The low-literacy activity plan was additionally advised as a printed handout; added accessory of the apparatus is in advance with the development of a Web appliance to accomplish the alone activity plan, which includes links to low-literacy video demonstrating how to administrate the child’s medication doses with the inhaler and spacer. Video links assuming specific affection could additionally be beneficial; currently the bound amplitude on the 1-page activity plan does not board visuals of anniversary listed symptom. Finally, this abstraction complex a accessibility sample of physicians at analytic sites affiliated with 2 bookish centers that serve low-income populations, and accordingly our allegation may not be generalizable. In particular, we did not board nurses or bloom educators in our study, and accustomed the growing accent of those groups in activity plan counseling,52–54 it would be advantageous to accept whether there are any differences aback the low-literacy affairs are acclimated by added bloom affliction providers.
We begin that our low-literacy WAAP bigger the affection of asthma counseling by providers by allowance them highlight key aspects of asthma administering ahead begin to be ambiguous for families and announcement the use of apparent accent principles. Added studies are bare to actuate whether bigger counseling, appliance the low-literacy activity plan, will accord to bigger ancestor and accommodating understanding, adherence, and adolescent asthma outcomes.
Nancy Linn, MFA, and Rebecca Solow, MFA, helped architecture the cartoon for the asthma medication apprenticeship sheets. We acknowledge the physicians, nurses, bloom educators, staff, and families who helped adviser the development of the asthma medication apprenticeship sheets, decidedly the Bellevue Hospital Pediatric Asthma team, as able-bodied as Claudia Aristy, BA, and the Bloom Education and Articulacy for Parents (HELP) activity team. We acknowledge Andrea Webster, MD, for her abetment in reviewing this article.
This balloon has been registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov (identifier NCT01405625).
FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The authors accept adumbrated they accept no banking relationships accordant to this commodity to disclose.
FUNDING: Dr Yin is accurate by Bloom Resources and Services Administering (12-191-1077, Bookish Administrative Units in Primary Care). Drs Yin and Gupta were adjourned by career development grants through the Robert Wood Johnson Physician Faculty Scholars Program at the time this abstraction was conducted. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation had no role in the architecture and conduct of the study, in the collection, management, analysis, or estimation of the data, or in the preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript. Funding for this abstraction was additionally provided by the KiDS of NYU Foundation.
POTENTIAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST: The authors accept adumbrated they accept no abeyant conflicts of absorption to disclose.
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