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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: Washington, DC (cont’d) Back to Index

You Can Control Asthma

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA)

Washington, DC

Jill Yasin

(202) 466-7643 ext. 227    


You Can Control Asthma was originally developed  in the late 1980's by researchers at Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

The program was evaluated as a self-management education program offered to inner-city children while they received medical care for asthma in the hospital. The program used videotapes, written activity books, and nurse discussion with the patient. Pre- and post- tests of 40 children aged 6-12 years revealed an increased use of asthma self-management techniques for acute episodes of asthma. Medical record review for a 15-month pre- and post-period indicated reductions in emergency room use.

Since 1991, the You Can Control Asthma educational materials have been published and distributed by the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA). The materials have been updated several times to reflect current asthma management guidelines. Thousands of individuals have been educated by groups nationwide using the You Can Control Asthma program. AAFA is collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AAFA Chapters to implement the program with children and parents in community and clinical sites in Tampa, FL and Boston, MA.

The current version of the You Can Control Asthma program is designed to give children ages 6-12 and their families more self-confidence and the necessary knowledge and skills to manage asthma, cope with the challenges associated with asthma, and provide a healthy home environment. The program consists of a set of parallel booklets for children and their parents, which teach principles of asthma management through pictures, captions, and activities. These low-literacy, culturally appropriate booklets, are available in English or Spanish and the illustrations, messages, vocabulary, and layout have been extensively tested with children and adults who have reading limitation. Also included is an Implementation Guide designed to provide successful strategies for educating families in clinical, community, school, and home settings using the You Can Control Asthma booklets.

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