Controlled studies of childhood asthma self-management in Italy using the "open airways" and "living with asthma" programs: a preliminary report.

L. Indinnimeo, F. Midulla, M. Hindi-Alexander, E. Bonci, G. C. Tancredi, R. Cutrera, A. M. Zicari, D. Evans, R. Ronchetti

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Abstract

The concept of self-management for childhood asthma was introduced to Italy through a scientific exchange agreement with the United States. Two self-management programs, Living with Asthma (LWA) and Open Airways (OA), are being evaluated in three studies, two of which (Pilot and Atri-Viterbo) were conducted by the Respiratory Service of the Pediatric Department of the University "La Sapienza" in Rome and one by 14 Italian university pediatric respiratory centers (Project Italia). In October 1985, 20 children and their 40 parents were enrolled in the Pilot Study. One hundred percent of the mothers and children and 70% of the fathers attended all of the sessions. Theoretical knowledge about asthma and knowledge of asthma self-management behavior were assessed three times by a questionnaire: at the beginning of the program, at the end of the program and one year later. Significant improvements in knowledge of asthma and in knowledge of asthma self-management behavior were demonstrated by both parents and children at the end of the program and one year later. Analysis of clinical symptoms and drug consumption indicated a statistically nonsignificant trend towards a reduction of asthma severity in the year after the program. In the Atri-Viterbo study 8229 children were initially screened by a questionnaire. One hundred eighty-two children with asthma (2.4%) were identified and invited to participate in a self-management program. Open Airways was used in a shortened version. Only 29 families in Atri (22% of the eligible families) and 24 families in Viterbo (50%) ultimately agreed to participate in the program. A comparison of these families with those who did not participate showed that higher social status (p less than 0.001) and more severe asthma (p less than 0.05) were significantly associated with participation. Attendance by mothers and children was 78% in Atri and 61% in Viterbo. Only 5% of the fathers regularly attended the program. Parents who received the program registered a statistically significant increase in knowledge of asthma and knowledge of asthma self-management behavior relative to controls (+13% versus -4%; p less than 0.05). Fourteen university-based pediatric respiratory centers participated in Project Italia, in which the LWA and OA programs were compared in both full length and shortened versions (8 versus 4 h). Four hundred children and their families were enrolled in the study.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-308
Number of pages18
JournalHealth Education Quarterly
Volume14
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Indinnimeo, L., Midulla, F., Hindi-Alexander, M., Bonci, E., Tancredi, G. C., Cutrera, R., Zicari, A. M., Evans, D., & Ronchetti, R. (1987). Controlled studies of childhood asthma self-management in Italy using the "open airways" and "living with asthma" programs: a preliminary report. Health Education Quarterly, 14(3), 291-308.