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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

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

Open Airways - Clinic

Columbia University

Ann Arbor, MI

Noreen Clark, PhD

(734) 763-0051         

nmclark@umich.edu

Open Airways was first developed and implemented in the pediatric allergy clinics of four New York City hospitals. This parent-child health education program's basic hypothesis was that participation would increase parents' and children's ability to manage asthma and would result in a decrease in emergency room visits, hospitalizations, school absences, and disruption of family life due to asthma. Open Airways focused on an inner city, low socioeconomic, minority population.

Two hundred sixty-nine families enrolled in the clinic program; 55% were Hispanic and 38% were non-Hispanic black. Sixty percent of the children were male and the mean age of children participation was 9.2 years (eligible age group was 4-17 years). Sixty-three percent of the families received public assistance and/or Medicaid.

To foster high attendance and to make constructive use of waiting time, health education sessions were conducted at the clinic while families were waiting for medical appointments. The program, presented in Spanish and English by bilingual health educators, consisted of six separate sessions each for parents and children which incorporated self-management skills and solutions to common obstacles encountered in achieving satisfactory asthma control. The goal of the sessions was to help parents and children communicate and work together in managing the child's asthma more effectively.

The program was evaluated using a randomized control study design. After one year the program had a significant impact on self management skills and school grades, as well as on reduction of emergency room visits and hospitalizations due to asthma.

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