INTRODUCTION: In children with asthma, daily symptoms and exacerbations have a significant impact on the quality of life of both children and parents. More effective use of asthma medication and, consequently, better asthma control is advocated, since both overtreatment and undertreatment are reported in primary care. Trials in adults suggest that asthma control is better when patients receive a regular medical review. Therefore, protocolled care by the general practitioner may also lead to better asthma control in children. However, such protocolled care by the general practitioner may be time consuming and less feasible. Therefore, this study aims to determine whether protocolled practice nurse-led asthma care for children in primary care provides more effective asthma control than usual care. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The study will be a cluster-randomised open-label trial with an 18-month follow-up. Practice nurses will be the units of randomisation and children with asthma the units of analysis. It is planned to include 180 children aged 6-12 years. Primary outcome will be average asthma control during the 18-month follow-up measured by the Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT). Secondary outcomes include C-ACT scores at t=3, t=6, t=12 and t=18 months; the frequency and severity of exacerbations; cost-effectiveness; quality of life; satisfaction with delivered care; forced expiratory volume in 1 s and forced expiratory flow at 75% and the association of high symptoms scores at baseline and baseline characteristics. Besides, we will conduct identical measurements in a non-randomised sample of children. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This will be the first trial to evaluate the effectiveness of protocolled practice nurse-led care for children with asthma in primary care. The results may lead to improvements in asthma care for children and can be directly implemented in revisions of asthma guidelines.The study protocol was approved by the Medical Research Ethics Committee of the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam.NTR6847.

Additional Metadata
Keywords asthma, paediatrics, Primary care, protocolled care, randomised controlled trial
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022922, hdl.handle.net/1765/120001
Journal BMJ Open
Citation
Bousema, S, Verwoerd, A.J.H, Goossens, L.M.A, Bohnen, A.M, Bindels, P.J.E, & Elshout, G. (2019). Protocolled practice nurse-led care for children with asthma in primary care: protocol for a cluster randomised trial. BMJ Open, 9(9). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022922