Study Finds Rental Assistance Programs Could Reduce ER Visits for Children with Asthma
University of Maryland School of Public Health researchers found that federal rental assistance programs may be associated with reduced use of emergency department services for the treatment of asthma in children.
Michel Boudreaux, assistant professor of health policy and management, and Natalie Slopen, assistant professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, along with their colleagues, surveyed 2,992 children who were currently participating in a federal rental assistance program or waiting to enter one.
Millions of low-income children in the United States reside in substandard or unaffordable housing, which could adversely affect their health through increased stress and environmental exposures, as well as through barriers to health care, education, physical activity and social networks.
Because of this, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s rental assistance programs may be associated with improved child health.
The study found that among children with an asthma attack in the past year, participation in rental assistance programs was associated with reduced use of emergency services. Researchers said the results may have important implications for the well-being of low-income families and health care system costs.
No significant changes were found in asthma attacks or asthma diagnoses.
Boudreaux studies public programs for low-income populations and their effects on health and economic well-being. Slopen’s research focuses on identifying and targeting conditions in childhood to reduce health disparities and promote health over the life course.
The study was published in JAMA Pediatrics.