All About Asthma is an adaptable guidelines-based asthma education and management program designed to increase knowledge, behavior and confidence in caring for children and adults with asthma. Presented in English, Spanish and Chinese by Breathe California’s certified asthma educator (AE-C), MariaElena Alioto (right), All About Asthma works to eliminate asthma episodes, keep children out of the hospital and emergency room, and reduce school absenteeism. Program participants include parents and families, teachers, child care providers, human resources staff, coaches, after-school care staff, nurses and other health care providers. From May 2016 through April 2017 the program was introduced to the pediatric department at Mission Neighborhood Health Center as a pilot program.
At the start of the summer, Breathe California began analyzing program data collected from 120 parent sessions conducted at Mission Neighborhood Health Center in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in increasing a parent’s knowledge and confidence in taking care of their asthmatic child. The results of this analysis found that an overwhelming majority of participants increased their average knowledge and confidence in caring for asthmatic children (98.4% and 95.1% respectively) after attending one All About Asthma session with the certified asthma educator. This was measured by a self-assessed knowledge, confidence and behavior survey designed by Breathe California that was taken by each participant before and after the intervention.
The program utilized the validated Asthma Control Test (ACT) questionnaire (use courtesy of Glaxo Smith Kline) to collect data at three different points throughout the intervention: at the start of intervention (baseline), two months after the intervention, and once more four months later. The ACT questionnaire is an important tool used to quantify asthma risk management and control. When comparing the average ACT scores at all three collection points, the analysis showed a slight increase in average asthma control scores after the intervention, with this increase sustained through the final ACT collection (V1 score = 22, V2 score = 23, V3 score = 24). The percentage of those participants who improved their baseline ACT score two months after the intervention was 50%, and 54.1% increased their baseline ACT score six months later.
The majority of participating parents increased their knowledge and confidence in caring for their asthmatic child, while also successfully managing and increasing control over their child’s asthma. The results of this analysis speak volumes about the effectiveness of the All About Asthma program and as well as the value of utilizing a certified asthma educator in improving parents’ crucial knowledge and skills to care for a child with asthma.
After the intervention, one participant stated,“This program has helped me tremendously. Now I can recognize the factors that can cause an asthma attack. I know how to correctly use an inhaler, when to get more medication for asthma refilled, and how to navigate the medical system. [MarieElena is] an angel because [she] patiently explained everything and answered all my questions.”