Table 1

Demographic and clinical characteristics of study children at baseline

CharacteristicsIntervention (n=99)Control (n=101)
Figures are numbers or medians (ranges) unless stated otherwise.
IQR = interquartile range; BTS = British Thoracic Society; NAC = National Asthma Campaign.
*In “beclomethasone equivalent” doses.
Sex (male:female)65:3469:32
Age (months)32 (18–61)32 (14–61)
Ethnic origin (Asian:West Indian:Caucasian:other)12:2:79:616:1:80:4
Given a diagnosis of asthma6375
Previous admissions to hospital (median (IQR))1 (0–3)1 (0–1.5)
Wheezing only with colds59 (60%)52 (51%)
Cough/wheezing episodes >2 days during last 12 months (median (IQR))4 (2–6)3 (2–8)
Triggers (colds:exercise:pets:dust:other)88:27:4:5:385:29:7:7:7
History of eczema:hayfever:food allergy53:2:855:10:11
Preventer prescribed on discharge  (fluticasone:beclomethasone:budesonide:cromoglycate)10:32:11:112:25:16:0
Preventer daily dose prescribed on discharge (μg/day)*200 (200–1000)400 (80–800)
Reliever prescribed on discharge (salbutamol:terbutaline:ipratropium)78:11:177:16:0
Step on BTS guideline at time of discharge (1:2:3:4)40:47:11:044:43:12:1
Parents or caregivers had some prior knowledge of asthma4849
Prior sources of information (leaflets:GP:hospital doctor:magazines: hospital nurse:NAC)24:25:18:10:21:124:27:18:6:19:6