Treating caregiver depression to improve childhood asthma: Impact & mediators


The purpose of this study is to determine if treating depression in caregivers will help improve their child’s asthma symptoms and quality of life. The child’s asthma will also be assessed using various asthma-related assessments including Spirometry.


A 52-week, repeated measure, within-subject design study to examine the impact of improved caregiver depression on child asthma outcomes is proposed in 196 pairs of caregiver currently meeting criteria for Major Depressive Disorder and their child meeting criteria for persistent asthma. The study is open to English and Spanish speaking outpatient male or female, ages 18-70, primary asthma caregiver of the child ages 7-17 years, male or female.  

Participants must not have a severe or life-threatening medical condition (e.g., hepatic cirrhosis), have a high risk for suicide, or be considered part of a vulnerable population (e.g. pregnant, cognitively impaired, or incarcerated). We do, however, encourage all patients to call the researchers to be screened for the study criteria.


Our recent research findings suggest that caregiver depression may influence asthma outcomes rather than be solely a consequence of the asthmas symptoms. Research has on the relationship between caregiver depression and child’s asthma symptoms have not yet been shown. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What medication will I be given?

A: Enrolled participants will be following a medication algorithm in this study. If the participant is already taking an antidepressant, they will remain on the prescribed medication until the first evaluation stage required by the algorithm and the doctor will assess how well the medication is working at that stage. At any time, the participant is free to decide to discontinue taking medication but can remain in the study under the study doctor’s care. This decision will be fully discussed with the study doctor for safety reasons.

Q: What will my visits consist of?

A: Each visit will consist of structured assessments and laboratory tests administered by a research assistant and psychiatrist.

Q: Is compensation available for participation in the study?

A: Yes, patients will be compensated for their time and efforts contributed for the study.

Q: Is transportation available for the study appointments?

A: Yes. DART passes will be made available to study participants who need transportation assistance.