Current Research Studies

Current Studies

Childhood Asthma Research Innovation Program
Part of the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute. A major emphasis of our program involves translating research into interventions and designing tools to improve children’s illness management and health outcomes, reduce health care use, and improve functioning and quality of life for children and their families. This Initiative features three complementary projects: 1) Identifying Mechanisms Contributing to Asthma Onset, Control, and Morbidity; 2) Stress, Epigenetics, and Asthma Onset; and 3) Rhode Island Asthma Collaborative to Address Pediatric Disparities.
Principal Investigators:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP, Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD and Gregory Fritz, MD

Project NAPS: Nocturnal Asthma and Performance in School
The goals of this study are to examine the co-occurrence of asthma and allergic rhinitis symptoms, sleep quality, school absences and academic performance in elementary school aged urban children from African American, Latino and non-Latino white backgrounds.
Principal Investigator:  Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD; funded by NICHD

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; funded by NHLBI

Pediatric Asthma Disparities: The Role of Sleep and Immune Balance
This project involves an innovative investigation of the effects of experimental sleep disruption on immune balance (Th1/Th2 cytokine ratio-Th1/Th2R; plasma IL-6 –pIL-6), and associated changes in asthma-related lung function (FEV1 by spirometry) and daytime performance in urban elementary school children with persistent asthma.
Principal Investigator:  Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD; funded by NHLBI

INTERVENTIONS: Pediatric Asthma
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; funded by NICHD

Project HARP This project implements an environmental asthma intervention to low-income families to reduce recurrent health care use.  Our site is part of a multi-center New England Asthma Innovations Collaborative, funded by CMS, to evaluate return on investment of home-based asthma interventions to evaluate return on investment (ROI) for long-term sustainability.
Principal Investigator: Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP; funded by RI Department of Health and Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Research

Controlling Asthma Effectively in School 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 Investigators:  Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD; funded by RI DOH

Emergency Department – Asthma Management Action Plan
ED-AMAP is a randomized controlled trial of a tablet-based educational intervention to improve asthma controller medication adherence vs. routine care. The intervention is tailored to individual families, does not require significant time of the ED staff, and the content patient-centered, evidence-based, and easily disseminable.
Principal Investigators:  Aris Garro, MD

A Pilot Study to Improve Sleep Quality in Urban High School Students with Asthma
A novel school-based intervention for urban adolescents with persistent asthma and whose typical sleep duration is at/below what is recommended for this age group.  The intervention adapts and integrates two interventions with proven efficacy – one targeting asthma management and the other sleep hygiene.
Principal Investigators:  Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD & JM Bruzzese, PhD ; Funded by NICHD

INTERVENTIONS: Pediatric Food Allergy
Web-Based and Interactive Virtual Environments for Children with Food Allergies

This Phase 1 SBIR Project developed an engaging web-based game to help school-aged children learn disease management skills and navigate social issues relating to food allergies. 
Principal Investigators:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP & Joshua Spitalnick, PhD; funded by NICHD

Friends, Family, and Food: Interactive Virtual Environments for Children with Food Allergies
This project is a Phase II STTR to further develop an interactive computer game/app for children with food allergies, focusing on trigger avoidance, reaction management, and negotiating social situations.
Principal Investigators:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP & Margo Adams Larsen, PhD

Project FAST - Food Allergy School Transition
An innovative food allergy education program for parents of children with food allergies designed to provide families with the knowledge, skills, and tools to effectively transition to pre-k or kindergarten. 
Principal Investigators: Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP and Susan Rudders, MD

Recently Completed Studies

Asthma Management and Ethnic Disparities at the Adolescent Transition
The goal of Project ARC was to assess cultural and developmental factors in asthma management and medication adherence across the transition to high school in Latino and Non-Latino White youth with persistent asthma.
Principal Investigator:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP; funded by NICHD

Identifying Protective Factors in Urban Children with Asthma
Identifies individual, familial/cultural, and asthma-specific protective factors associated with minimal asthma morbidity in urban children.
Principal Investigator:  Daphne Koinis Mitchell, PhD; funded by NIAID.

Community Partnership to Reduce Asthma Disparities
Compared two interventions regarding their effects to increase controller medication use and decrease asthma morbidity in African-American and Latino children.
Principal Investigator:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP; funded by NINR.

Intervention for Depressed Latina Mothers of Children with Asthma
This project developed and collected pilot data on a group-based intervention that combines CBT for depression and asthma education for depressed Latina mothers of children with asthma.
Principal Investigators:  Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, ABPP &  Glorisa Canino, PhD; funded by NHLBI.

Pediatric Asthma Disparities: Perceptions and Management
Assessed disparities in pediatric asthma between Island Puerto Rican children, Mainland Latino children, and Mainland non-Latino white children.
Principal Investigators:  Gregory Fritz, MD &  Glorisa Canino, PhD; funded by NHLBI

Stress and Immunity in Pediatric Asthma
The major goal of this project was to test the hypothesis that in adolescents with asthma, stress induces a shift in the immune system associated with airways inflammation.
Principal Investigator:  Jack Nassau, PhD; funded by NHLBI.

Project HART: (Hasbro Asthma Research Team)
A randomized controlled trial that tested 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; Funded by the American Lung Association