Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center


The Childhood Asthma Research Program studies factors that account for variations in asthma management and morbidity in children and adolescents.

Findings from these projects will increase our understanding of key processes implicated in asthma health disparities, further knowledge about how stress influences asthma symptoms, and improve asthma health outcomes for diverse groups of children.

Learn about the Community Asthma Research Program at Hasbro Children's Hospital.

Current and Recently Completed Studies

Rhode Island – Puerto Rico Asthma Center (RIPRAC)

This study was completed in 2007. This was one of four centers in the United States funded by the National Institutes of Health to study pediatric asthma disparities at the individual (symptom perception, medication adherence), family/cultural (beliefs about medications, access to health care) and health care system levels. The RIPRAC study was carried out in two settings, Puerto Rico (PR) and Rhode Island (RI), and with four groups of children 7 to 15 years old: PR children on the island, PR and Dominican children living in RI, and non-Latino white children living in RI. The study design and goal was the same in both sites: a cross-sectional, observational approach with repeated measurements (four sessions across a four-month period) of selected variables.

Principal Investigators: Gregory Fritz, MD and Glorisa Canino, PhD

Asthma and Academic Performance in Urban Children

This is a five-year study funded by NIH/NICHD and examines the co-occurrence of asthma, allergic rhinitis symptoms, sleep quality and academic performance across the academic school year in ethnically diverse, urban children with asthma. Sleep quality and school performance in healthy children is also a focus. Key variables are assessed using objective, real-time approaches across the academic year (e.g., home spirometers to assess lung function, nasal flow meters to asses upper airway obstruction, actiwatches to asses sleep quality, teacher and school-level data to assess academic functioning).

Principal Investigator: Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD  

The Community Asthma Program (CAP)

Through funds from RI Department of Health and from the department of pediatrics at Rhode Island Hospital, two programs focus on: 1) administering guidelines-based asthma education to elementary-age school children during the school day (in “CAP’s School Lunch Program”) and 2) evaluating an asthma educational program developed for caregiver of children with asthma who have attended our initial program (“Evaluation of CAP’s Asthma 102 Program”).

Principal Investigators: Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD and Robert Klein, MD

Adolescent-Parent-Provider Communication in Latinos with Asthma

This study investigates characteristics of adolescent-parent-provider communication among Latino adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18. Specifically, relationships between communication, sociocultural factors, and clinical asthma outcomes were explored. Focus group data was collected to examine preferred qualities of adolescent-parent-provider communication, factors that facilitate and disrupt effective communication, and desired balance of communication. The study is complete.

Principal Investigator: Barbara Jandasek, PhD  

Project HARP

This project evaluates an evidence-based environmental asthma intervention to low-income families to reduce recurrent health care utilization and estimate return on investment.

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD in conjunction with the RI Department of Health, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Studies (CMS)

Project ARC: Asthma Management and Ethnic Disparities at the Adolescent Transition

Research has shown that teenagers often have difficulty managing chronic illnesses such as asthma. This project is looking at asthma management and medication use in adolescents as they transition from eighth grade into high school. Adolescents and their parents are interviewed and complete survey measures in eighth grade and in tenth grade, and their medication use is monitored throughout.

Principal Investigator: Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD  

Development of an Illness Beliefs Questionnaire for Chronic Pediatric Illness

The purpose of this study is to develop a questionnaire that can highlight areas of agreement and disagreement in the beliefs that family members have about a child's chronic illness. Parents complete a packet of questionnaires during one research office visit and then one questionnaire through the mail two weeks later.

Principal Investigator: Jack Nassau, PhD  

Stress and Immunity in Pediatric Asthma

This study is closed to recruitment. The objective is to determine whether stress induces immune changes consistent with airway inflammation in adolescents with asthma.

Principal Investigator: Jack Nassau, PhD 

Physical Activity and Asthma

This study investigates the co-occurrence of asthma and allergic rhinitis status, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in urban, elementary school children, and examines cultural and contextual processes relevant to asthma and the neighborhood setting that influence physical activity in urban children.

Principal Investigators: Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD and Elissa Jelalian, PhD

Peer-Administered Asthma Self-Management Intervention in Urban Middle Schools

The goals of this study are to design and test a culturally-tailored, group-based intervention that involves peer-facilitated asthma self-management intervention specific to the school setting for middle school-aged, urban and Latino children with asthma. The study is collaboration with the University of Puerto Rico and is being implemented in Rhode Island and Puerto Rico.

Principal Investigators: Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD and Glorisa Canino, PhD

Controlling Asthma in Schools Effectively

The goals of this program are to implement multi-level asthma services within the urban elementary school setting to enhance child asthma control. Components involve during the day asthma education classes, school staff trainings, environmental walk-through assessments, caregiver after-school asthma educational workshops, and school nurse teacher support. Evaluation efforts are currently underway.

Principal Investigator: Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD

Project HART: (Hasbro Asthma Research Team)

A randomized controlled trial testing an intervention to reduce unscheduled health care use and improve quality of life in children with uncontrolled asthma and no controller medications.

Site Director: Aris Garro, MD, MPH