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J Natl Med Assoc. Jul 2004; 96(7): 954–960.
PMCID: PMC2568435

Community asthma education program for parents of urban asthmatic children.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To demonstrate the effectiveness of community asthma education provided by peers in the urban community. METHOD: A convenience sample of 267 self-referred, primarily African-American parents or primary caregivers of asthmatic children aged 18 months to 16 years completed a five-session education program. Program efficacy was evaluated at baseline, immediately postinstruction, and at three-, six-, and 12 months retention. Outcomes included three questionnaires measuring asthma self-management knowledge, control and quality of life. RESULTS: Immediately following program completion, participants demonstrated improvements in asthma knowledge (13% increased proportion correct, p < 0.01), ability to control their child's asthma 16% increased score, p < 0.01), and asthma quality of life (7% increased score, p < 0.01). Retention of knowledge with steady improvement of control and quality of life was observed up to one year postinstruction, as compared with immediate postprogram scores (p = 0.09 and 0.05, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: A community-based asthma educational program for caregivers should be an important component of childhood asthma management. The complexities of asthma management are best taught in educational programs that are easily accessible, provide a comfortable environment for participants, and are taught by peers.

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Selected References

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