• The Association of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness' Asthma Management Protocol and Asthma Control in Omani Children 2-5 years Old

      Al Amri, Warda; Ogbolu, Yolanda; Johantgen, Mary E. (2018)
      Background: Oman had the highest asthma prevalence and severity in children among Eastern Mediterranean countries. Despite national implementation of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) asthma protocol, reports show no improvement in asthma-related hospital admissions among children aged 1-4 years. IMCI asthma treatment protocol implementation and factors affecting asthma control are understudied. Purpose: Describe characteristics of IMCI asthma management protocol implementation (medication, counselling, and specialist referral); explore multilevel factors associated with asthma control in children attending IMCI clinics; and analyze trends in acute care visits (emergency department [ED] and hospital admissions) by asthmatic children and their characteristics during one year follow-up. Methods: Retrospective cohort study of Omani children aged 2-5 years in Muscat was conducted using electronic health data (2012-2015). Asthma control was measured by number of exacerbations requiring visits to the health center, emergency care or hospitalization within one year of asthma index diagnosis. Generalized linear mixed-effects modelling was used to account for the clustering of children within health centers. Results: Mean age was 2.8 years, predominantly male (63.2%) and originally from Muscat (96.2%). On index diagnosis day, 61.2% were given reliever medications, and on discharge 47.1% were prescribed controller medications. Most (74%) children had well-controlled asthma that was highly associated with being treated in a health center with higher proportion of IMCI training (Adj. OR= 3.0; 95% CI =1.34, 6.73; p <0.01), and receiving short acting β2-agonists for acute management at index diagnosis (Adj. OR=2.4; 95% CI=1.38-4.09). There was limited data for specialist referrals and counselling. Majority of children with ED visits were infrequent attenders (94.1%), however, a small percentage had high acute care utilization (e.g. 21 visits/year). Conclusion: IMCI is designed to improve health outcomes of young children. A high proportion of children treated in IMCI clinics achieved well-controlled asthma. Training of physicians improved asthma outcomes, but specific components in the IMCI asthma management protocol need more reinforcement and further exploration. Utilizing prevention quality indicators to screen for implementation of IMCI components is recommend. Longitudinal investigation of multilevel factors (patient, family, practice, and health care system) associated with childhood asthma control in Oman is needed.