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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: California (cont'd) Back to Index

Wee Wheezers

American Institutes for Research

Palo Alto, CA

Sandra R. Wilson, PhD

(650) 853-2898         


A randomized control trial of the Wee Wheezers asthma education program was conducted with 76 children with asthma 0-6 years of age. Treatment children showed improved morbidity at 3-month follow-up relative to the changes in the controls: increased symptom-free days in the preceding 2 weeks and month, fewer nights of parental sleep interruption in a typical week, and although not significant there was a trend toward fewer asthma sick days. These improvements were accompanied by significantly better parental asthma management compared with controls.

The overall goals of the program are that parents gain the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary to: (1) prevent asthma symptoms, (2) appropriately manage symptoms when they occur, (3) utilize medial, educational, and interpersonal resources appropriately for asthma care, (4) communicate effectively with all adults responsible for the child's care, and (5) promote the psychosocial well-being of the family visit.

Wee Wheezers consists of four small-group sessions of approximately two-hours each, conducted at one-week intervals by nurses experienced in the management of pediatric asthma. Parents of children 0-3 and 4-6 years of age meet in separate groups. The initials 45 minutes of the last two sessions for parents of 4-6 year old children are devoted to direct instruction of the children; no direct instruction of those under the age of four is attempted. Group discussion, skill demonstration, videos, handouts and charts are all utilized during the sessions.

The American Institutes for Research originally disseminated the program from 1995 to 2003. The program was then reviewed and repackaged by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is currently being disseminated by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America, along with Spanish and Humong versions and the related Wee Wheezers at Home program.

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