Research & Program Areas

Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE)

The morbidity and mortality associated with asthma continue to comprise a major health dilemma. Although new and better treatments for asthma become available each year, the latest information on these new treatments often is not communicated effectively to patients. Even when patients do receive information on new treatments, they often believe communication with their clinicians has been inadequate. These communication problems lead to ineffective management of the disease.The Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE) program was created to enhance treatment of asthma and the physician-patient partnership.

The multi-faceted seminar was developed to improve physician awareness, ability, and application of communication and therapeutic skills for asthma. The PACE curriculum provides education for clinicians on how to employ the best current therapies for asthma. It also provides valuable information on how to communicate more effectively with patients and support patients’ management efforts, helping them to better utilize the clinicians’ recommendations. An original trial supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) showed significant outcomes for children with asthma and greater satisfaction with physician performance. 600 patients of 83 pediatricians in New York and Michigan who participated in PACE were followed from baseline through two years follow-up care. The study showed that physicians who participated in the program provided clear and concise asthma education and more effective treatment than controls. Their patients had fewer days with symptoms, fewer emergency room visits, and reduced hospitalizations compared to patients of control group physicians.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, similar results were found in a subsequent trial replicating the PACE program in 10 cities across the United States, involving over 100 primary care providers and 870 patients. The program was delivered through peer teaching by local physicians. Evaluation showed that physicians who had attended the PACE program were more likely to inquire about patients’ concerns, encourage physical activity, and set goals for successful treatment. Patients of physicians that participated in the program had fewer days affected by asthma symptoms, as well as fewer emergency room visits. Additionally, patients who began the study with more frequent asthma symptoms and higher health care utilization were more likely to benefit from their physician’s participation in the PACE program. PACE physicians spent no more time with their patients than other physicians.

The PACE curriculum, including a complete set of materials needed to present a PACE seminar, is being distributed through the NHLBI of the National Institutes of Health. This project is one of the many important advances in chronic illness care spearheaded by CMCD founding Director, Dr. Noreen Clark.

For more information, contact Dr. Minal Patel at


Asthma & Allergies, Physicians & Providers

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