Peak Flow Education and Emergency Room Visits for Children with Asthma: A cross-sectional analysis of the Asthma Call Back Surveys 2015-2019.


  • Rachel Elizabeth Wilkins
  • Randi Kerr
  • Cooper Hamilton
  • Benjamin Greiner
  • Micah Hartwell



Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and a cause of increasing emergency room visits. Seeing the value that a peak flow meter (PFM) could provide, our primary objective was to determine the reported rate at which individuals were provided PFM instruction by their healthcare professionals (HCP) using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS).15 Our secondary objective was to compare physician education of PFM use and the amount of times the child was brought to the emergency room or urgent care for asthma exacerbation.


Using the data from the  2015-2019 CDC’s BRFSS ACBS child codebooks for children aged 0-17 years, we evaluated different forms of asthma management education for children by age and race/ethnicity and compared if the same child went to the emergency room.


Our results showed that an average of 37.58% of children were taught how to use a peak flow meter- the highest rate with American Indian or Alaskan Native children (42.45%). Black children were the most likely to visit the emergency room (20.85%) and 14.24% of children who were taught how to use a PFM went to the emergency room- a statistically significant result.


Given previous research showing poor performance of appropriate PFM techniques among HCP, medical institutions and residency programs should incorporate adequate training for PFM usage, as well as require continuing education credits for asthma for all HCP that could be charged with patient education of PFM use.