Primary care pathway for childhood asthma


Andrew Cave, Heather Sharpe, David Johnson



Heather Sharpe at



Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS), AHS Respiratory Health Strategic Clinical Network & Health Quality Council of Alberta (HQCA)



Recruitment completed. Intervention in progress. Protocol available at JMIR Res Protoc 2016;5(1):e37.





Asthma is the most common chronic condition in children. For many, the disease is inadequately controlled, which can burden the lives of children and their families as well as the health care system. Improved use of the best available scientific evidence by primary care practitioners could reduce the need for hospital care and improve quality of life and asthma control, thereby reducing overall costs to society and families.


The Primary Care Pathway for Childhood Asthma aims to improve the management of children with asthma by (1) providing primary care practitioners with an electronic guide (a clinical pathway) incorporated into the patient’s electronic medical record, and (2) providing train-the-trainer education to chronic disease management health professionals to promote the provision of asthma education in primary care.


The research will utilize a pragmatic cluster-controlled design, quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, and economic evaluation to assess the implementation of a pathway and education intervention in primary care. The intervention will be analyzed for effectiveness, and if the results are positive, a strategy will be developed to implement delivery to all primary care practices in Alberta.


The research has been successfully funded and ethics approvals have been obtained. Practice recruitment began fall 2015, and we expect all study-related activities to be concluded by March 2018.


The proposed pathway and education intervention has the potential to improve pediatric asthma management in Alberta. The intervention is anticipated to result in better quality of care for equal or lesser cost.