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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: Texas (cont’d)Back to Index

Watch, Discover, Think and Act (WDTA): Computer-assisted asthma self-management education

Texas Children's Hospital

Houston, TX

Ross Shegog, PhD

rshegog@sph.uth.tmc.edu

Watch, Discover, Think, and Act is an interactive multimedia computer game to enhance self-management skills and thereby improve asthma outcomes in inner-city children. An evaluation was conducted at pediatric clinics in Houston, TX by researchers from the Center for Health Promotion Research and Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center, Texas Children's Hospital, and the University of Houston.

Subjects age 6-17 were recruited from four pediatric practices and randomly assigned to the computer intervention condition or the usual-care comparison. The main character in the game could match the subject on gender and ethnicity. Characteristics of the protagonist's asthma were tailored to be like those of the subject. Subjects played on the computer game as part of regular asthma visits.

Time between pre- and post-test varied from 4 to 16 months (mean 7.6 months). Analysis of covariance, with pre-test scores, age, and asthma severity as covariates, found that the intervention was associated with fewer hospitalizations, better symptoms scores, increased functional status, greater knowledge of asthma management, and better child self-management behavior for those in the intervention condition.

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