Technology-Assisted Stepped Care Study

Clinical Trial ID: NCT03883594


The overall goal of this project is to demonstrate the feasibility, implementation, and preliminary efficacy of a technology-assisted stepped care (TASC) adherence-promotion intervention in adolescents with asthma. This is the third phase (Phase 3) of a three-phase project to test the preliminary efficacy of a technology-assisted stepped care (TASC) intervention. In Phase 1, we developed the intervention using patient and provider feedback from focus groups. In Phase 2 we refined the developed intervention by having five adolescents from the focus groups test the intervention for feasibility. In this third phase, we will enroll up to 50 adolescents to pilot-test the refined intervention for preliminary efficacy.

Up to fifty adolescents with asthma will be enrolled in an open label pilot trial of the TASC adherence-promotion intervention for a duration of five months. First, participants will complete baseline questionnaires related to demographic, and clinical predictors of adherence and asthma and a 4 week run-in phase to assess baseline adherence using electronic inhaler monitoring with a cellphone that is provided to them. Following the run-in period, all participants will receive Step 1 of the TASC intervention for a minimum of 4 weeks. Step 1 (Information) will include electronic educational information related to asthma symptoms and triggers, attacks, self-monitoring, treatments, action plans, and automated text message medication reminders. Following the initial four weeks of Step 1, adherence will be evaluated and a rate of less than 68% will serve as the cause for "stepping up" to the next level of the intervention. Adherence checks will continue to occur every four weeks for the duration of the study and adherence <68% will prompt movement from one level of treatment to the next. Participants may remain at a treatment level for more than four weeks and may complete 1, 2, or 3 interventions steps during the 5 month study depending on the adolescent's adherence. Step 2 (Motivation) will include electronic monitoring of adherence and personally tailored feedback via text messages. Adolescents will be given access to the adherence tracking cellphone app and graphs of their inhaler adherence. Adolescents will also receive brief, personalized text messages that provide supportive motivation and directive, tangible actions. Step 3 (Behavioral) will include problem-solving telehealth intervention with a trained clinician. Four telehealth sessions individually tailored to the unique needs and barriers of the adolescent will be provided. The primary outcome measure will be electronically-monitored adherence assessed at post-treatment. Secondary outcomes include asthma severity as well as process evaluation questions and quantitative measures of feasibility, acceptability, and satisfaction to demonstrate implementation.


Inclusion Criteria: - Patient age between 12-18 years - Patient is diagnosed with severe-persistent or moderate-persistent asthma per NAEPP asthma guidelines - Patient is prescribed at least one daily inhaled controller medication or a daily combination inhaled corticosteroid and long-acting beta-agonist and a beta-agonist bronchodilator - English fluency for patient, caregiver, and clinician Exclusion Criteria: - Significant cognitive deficits that may interfere with comprehension per medical team or chart review. - Diagnosis of serious mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia) - Diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder - Active chronic disease apart from asthma or allergic disease (e.g. Bronchiectasis)

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    Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati

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