Methods and issues in conducting a community-based environmental randomized trial

Lee J. Swartz, Karen A. Callahan, Arlene M. Butz, Cynthia S. Rand, Sukon Kanchanaraksa, Gregory B. Diette, Jerry A. Krishnan, Patrick N. Breysse, Timothy J. Buckley, Adrian M. Mosley, Peyton A. Eggleston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The environment is suspected to play an important role in the prevalence and severity of asthma in inner-city children. This paper describes the implementation and baseline data of an inner-city community-based participatory research clinical trial designed to test the effectiveness of a pollutant and allergen control strategy on children's asthma morbidity. Participants were 100 elementary-school-aged children with asthma, graduates of a school-based asthma education program in East Baltimore. The intervention for half of the randomly assigned families consisted of environmental control education, allergen-proof encasements, pest extermination, and a HEPA air cleaner at the beginning of the study. Controls received the same at the end of the study. Participants visited a clinic for questionnaires, allergy skin testing, spirometry, and blood sample at baseline and 12 months. Home environments, NO2, O3, airborne particulates, and allergens were evaluated at baseline and at 6 and 12 months. Asthma morbidity and adherence was assessed quarterly. Collaboration with the community proved very beneficial in creating a study design and procedures acceptable to an inner-city community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-165
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004


  • Asthma
  • Community-based research
  • Environmental intervention
  • Exposure assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Science(all)


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