. Trial of asthma education materials in a population of 600 primary school children (7-12 years of age) with moderate to severe asthma (and their families) in Europe.
. Development of a biannual Childhood Asthma Newsletter to facilitate an education forum among health professionals in Europe.
The study population (100 children and their families in each location) will consist of two groups, matched for age and gender, socioeconomic factors and severity of asthma. Designation of the control and educational intervention groups will follow the collection of qualitative and quantitative data using a socioeconomic and health history questionnaire, a home medicine cabinet inventory, and an asthma interview. The intervention group will receive a package of asthma education materials along with directions about its use during the 12 months of the trial. Outcome will be evaluated using data obtained from end-trial interviews with the children and their families. The two groups will be compared according to variables such as: number of asthma episodes during the trial, amount of asthma medications purchased, target child's hospitalization and school absenteeism, consultations with doctors, and physical household environment. Evaluation of differences between the two groups will also consider issues of quality of life and life style, including changes in the target child's behaviour and psychosocial environment. Monitoring of the trial will be assessed by the scientists in charge of three Data Reference Centres (qualitative, quantitative, educational) and by three written reports to the Project Leader by the local coordinators (preliminary phase, mid-term, and final). The progress and results of the concerted action will be published in the Childhood Asthma Newsletter, along with contributions from scientists involved in two concerted actions about childhood, illness, medicine use, and asthma (one completed, the other in-progress). The newsletter aims to develop a multidisciplinary forum between health professionals conducting research and/or involved in clinical practice with asthma in childhood.