Multisystemic Therapy for High-Risk African American Adolescents With Asthma: A Randomized Clinical Trial


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Objective: The primary purpose of the study was to determine whether Multisystemic Therapy adapted for health care settings (MST-HC) improved asthma management and health outcomes in high-risk African American adolescents with asthma. Method: Eligibility included self-reported African American ethnicity, ages 12 to 16, moderate to severe asthma, and an inpatient hospitalization or at least 2 emergency department visits for asthma in the last 12 months. Adolescents and their families (N = 170) were randomized to MST-HC or in-home family support. Data were collected at baseline and posttreatment (7 months) based on an asthma management interview, medication adherence phone diary, and lung function biomarker (forced expiratory volume in 1 s [FEV1]). Analyses were conducted using linear mixed modeling for continuous outcomes and generalized linear mixed modeling for binary outcomes. Results: In intent-to-treat analyses, adolescents randomized to MST-HC were more likely to improve on 2 of the measures of medication adherence and FEV1. Per-protocol analysis demonstrated that MST-HC had a medium effect on adherence measures and had a small to medium effect on lung function and the adolescent’s response to asthma exacerbations. Conclusion: There are few interventions that have been shown to successfully improve asthma management in minority youth at highest risk for poor morbidity and mortality. MST, a home-based psychotherapy originally developed to target behavior problems in youth, improved asthma management and lung function compared to a strong comparison condition. Further follow-up is necessary to determine whether MST-HC reduces health care utilization accounting for seasonal variability. A limitation to the study is that a greater number of participants in the control group came from single-parent families than in the MST group.

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