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Original article
Monitoring strategies in children with asthma: a randomised controlled trial
  1. Sandra Voorend-van Bergen1,
  2. Anja A Vaessen-Verberne2,
  3. Hein J Brackel3,
  4. Anneke M Landstra4,
  5. Norbert J van den Berg5,
  6. Wim C Hop6,
  7. Johan C de Jongste1,
  8. Peter J Merkus7,
  9. Mariëlle W Pijnenburg1
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, Division Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Centre—Sophia Children's Hospital, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, Amphia Hospital, Breda, the Netherlands
  3. 3Department of Paediatrics, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, Rijnstate Hospital, Arnhem, the Netherlands
  5. 5Department of Paediatrics, Flevo Hospital—De Kinderkliniek, Almere, the Netherlands
  6. 6Department of Biostatistics, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
  7. 7Department of Paediatric Pulmonology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mariëlle W Pijnenburg, Department of Paediatrics, Division Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Erasmus University Medical Centre—Sophia Children's Hospital, P.O. Box 2060, Rotterdam 3000 CB, the Netherlands; m.pijnenburg{at}


Background Asthma guidelines recommend monitoring of asthma control. However, in a substantial proportion of children, asthma is poorly controlled and the best monitoring strategy is not known.

Objectives We studied two monitoring strategies for their ability to improve asthma outcomes in comparison with standard care (SC): web-based monthly monitoring with the (Childhood) Asthma Control Test (ACT or C-ACT) and 4-monthly monitoring of FENO.

Methods In this randomised controlled, partly blinded, parallel group multicentre trial with a 1-year follow-up, children aged 4–18 years with a doctor's diagnosis of asthma treated in seven hospitals were randomised to one of the three groups. In the web group, treatment was adapted according to ACT obtained via a website at 1-month intervals; in the FENO group according to ACT and FENO, and in the SC group according to the ACT at 4-monthly visits. The primary endpoint was the change from baseline in the proportion of symptom-free days (SFD).

Results Two-hundred and eighty children (mean age 10.4 years, 66% boys) were included; 268 completed the study. Mean changes from baseline in SFD were similar between the groups: −2.1% (web group, n=90), +8.9% (FENO group, n=91) versus 0.15% (SC, n=87), p=0.15 and p=0.78. Daily dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) decreased more in the web-based group compared with both other groups (−200 μg/day, p<0.01), while ACT and SFD remained similar.

Conclusions The change from baseline in SFD did not differ between monitoring strategies. With web-based ACT monitoring, ICS could be reduced substantially while control was maintained.

Trial registration number NTR 1995.

  • Paediatric asthma

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