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Helping Physicians Provide Personalized Asthma Care – the CHAMPS Project

Posted by Brook White on Tue, Aug 09, 2016 @ 02:02 PM
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Ryan2.jpgRyan Bailey, MA is a Senior Clinical Researcher at Rho.  He has over 10 years of experience conducting multicenter asthma research studies, including theInner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) and the Community Healthcare for Asthma Management and Prevention of Symptoms (CHAMPS) project. Ryan also coordinates Rho’s Center for Applied Data Visualization, which developsnovel data visualizations and statistical graphics for use in clinical trials.

Does your healthcare provider offer a comprehensive, personalized, asthma management plan for treating your asthma?

Personalized medicine is considered the future of healthcare, and for good reason. The more we learn about patients, genetics, and diseases, the more we realize that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to healthcare is not the best way forward. Personalized medicine, by contrast, is designed to provide a treatment plan that is customized to each patient.

respiratory.pngWhile this approach offers tremendous promise for patients, it also poses a number of challenges for doctors who treat complex, multi-faceted diseases like asthma. Asthma can be influenced by a wide range of factors, including: genetic traits, allergen sensitivities, environmental exposures, stress, socioeconomic conditions, and access to healthcare. With so many variables to consider, developing a patient-tailored treatment can be daunting for healthcare providers. Personalized care can also require more time – time to learn about each patient and the various factors contributing to their disease, and time to administer a comprehensive care plan.

Fortunately, research and advocacy programs are seeking to overcome these challenges for patients with asthma. One such program is the Community Healthcare for Asthma Management and Prevention of Symptoms or "CHAMPS" project, funded by the Merck Childhood Asthma Network.

The CHAMPS project was based on 25 years of National Institutes of Health asthma research that began with two landmark clinical trials – the National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study (NCICAS) and the Inner City Asthma Study (ICAS). NCICAS and ICAS focused on providing patient-tailored asthma care using a team-based approach. Each patient was assessed by physicians and information was collected about their asthma. This information was used to create a personalized care plan, which was delivered by a team of healthcare providers and specially-trained asthma counselors.

Both NCICAS and ICAS demonstrated strong results for their patient-tailored asthma interventions, but one important question remained – could these results be repeated in the ‘real world’? CHAMPS was designed to answer this question. Using NCICAS and ICAS as models, CHAMPS researchers set out to fulfill two objectives:

  1. test whether the clinical trial interventions could be implemented in the real world setting of health clinics, and, if successful
  2. provide resources that other health practices could use to implement CHAMPS within their centers

In the first asthma study of its kind, CHAMPS researchers found that health clinics in three different states, with different healthcare teams, insurance plans, and levels of resources were capable of successfully implementing CHAMPS’ cost-effective, patient-tailored asthma program. Once they determined that the program was successful in real world settings, CHAMPS researchers turned their attention toward helping other health practices implement the program.

In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, the CHAMPS team released a series of freely-available resources on the Asthma Community Network website, including short eLearning videos, educational handouts, research, and a detailed procedural manual. These CHAMPS materials are designed to teach any health practice how to conduct the CHAMPS asthma program, and are available to the public at http://www.asthmacommunitynetwork.org/Champs.
What does this mean for asthma sufferers?  

Acknowledgments:
The CHAMPS project was supported by The Merck Childhood Asthma Network, Inc. and coordinated by researchers at George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and Rho, Inc. Additional support was provided by the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

 

Taking Asthma Research from Discovery to Delivery - the CHAMPS Project

Posted by Brook White on Tue, Dec 15, 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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Ryan Bailey, MA is a Project Coordinator and Business Analyst at Rho. He has over 10 years of experience conducting multicenter asthma research studies, including the Inner City Asthma Consortium (ICAC) and the Community Healthcare for Asthma Management and Prevention of Symptoms (CHAMPS) project. Ryan also coordinates Rho’s Center for Applied Data Visualization, which develops novel data visualizations and statistical graphics for use in clinical trials.

How can we ensure that successful clinical trial interventions will lead to long-term improvements in healthcare?  Novel research and information dissemination projects like the CHAMPS program offer promise for bridging the gap between clinical trials and health practice.

clinical trials in asthma, respiratory clinical trialsHow can we ensure that successful clinical trial interventions will lead to long-term improvements in healthcare?

If we're honest, clinical researchers often fail to give this question the attention it deserves. To be fair, we have many urgent questions that press for our time and focus instead. Do we have the best trial design? Can we recruit the study population in question? Are we taking the proper safety precautions? Is the intervention efficacious? These are important questions in their own right, but what happens when the trial is over?

For many interventions, the answer is depressing. Despite demonstrating efficacy, evidence-based interventions are too often sparsely disseminated and poorly adopted. This problem has been dubbed the "discovery-delivery gap"1. The crisis of conscience for researchers is obvious - what good is an efficacious trial if it never leads to sustained improvements in healthcare?

Fortunately, research and advocacy groups are seeking to overcome this disconnect. In particular, the fields of Implementation Science and Translational Research are concerned with taking the discoveries of clinical trials and basic science research and translating them into everyday health practice. Rho has spent the past 5 years contributing to one such translational project, the Community Healthcare and Asthma Management for the Prevention of Symptoms or "CHAMPS" program, which was funded by the Merck Childhood Asthma Network.

CHAMPS was founded on 25 years of established asthma research that began with two landmark clinical trials for asthma - the National Cooperative Inner City Asthma Study (NCICAS) in the early 1990s and the Inner City Asthma Study (ICAS) in the late 1990s. Both clinical trials demonstrated strong results for their asthma interventions. The objective of CHAMPS was twofold:

1.  test whether the efficacious clinical trial interventions could be adopted and implemented in the "real world" setting of federally qualified health clinics (FQHCs)

2.  provide resources that other health practices could use to implement CHAMPS within their centers

After replicating the effectiveness of the clinical trials in the FQHC setting, the CHAMPS team turned its attention to share the procedural knowledge of the intervention with the public.

In November of this year, in partnership with the EPA, the CHAMPS team released a series of publicly-accessible web-based resources on the EPA-supported website: www.asthmacommunitynetwork.org. The CHAMPS materials on the site are designed to equip any health practice to conduct the CHAMPS asthma counselor intervention, and include short eLearning videos, educational handouts, a library of supporting asthma research, and a detailed procedural manual. The CHAMPS resources are all available at: http://www.asthmacommunitynetwork.org/Champs

CHAMPS represents an important step in overcoming the discovery-delivery gap – first, by taking the pragmatic step of replicating the findings of the clinical trials in the less controlled environment of primary health clinics, and second, by making a concerted effort to share the "how-to" resources that will equip any health provider with the knowledge needed to implement an effective asthma intervention in their practice.


1Kerner, J.F. (2006). Knowledge translation versus knowledge integration: A “funder’s” perspective. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, 26, 72-80.

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