Program

Dec 15, 2010

OVERVIEW

Puff City
is an intervention for urban African-American adolescents with asthma. It uses a
web-based educational computer program that is tailored to participants’
responses. The program aims to positively impact three core behaviors relating
to asthma and to improve health outcomes and quality of life. An evaluation
found positive impacts for symptom days, symptom nights, school days missed,
days of restricted activity, and asthma-related hospitalizations.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target
population:

urban
African-American adolescents with asthma

Puff City
is a web-based program conducted in schools that focuses on three core
behaviors: controller medication adherence, rescue inhaler availability, and
smoking cessation/reduction. The program consists of four educational computer
sessions, each about 30 minutes in length. The program gives feedback comparing
the participant’s responses to those of other students and to the participant’s
responses at the last session, and messages are tailored to information that the
participant has given. Participants have 180 days to complete the sessions using
school computers. The main program cost was a referral coordinator, which cost
approximately $6.66 per treatment student.

EVALUATION
OF PROGRAM

Evaluated
population:

314 ninth
to eleventh grade students who had current asthma symptoms at six high schools
in Detroit. 98 percent of the students at these schools were African-American,
and 52 percent qualified for federal school lunch programs.

Approach:
The sample
was stratified by school, grade, sex, and asthma diagnosis, and then randomly
assigned to the treatment or to a control condition. Students in the control
condition were directed to existing generic asthma websites for four 30-minute
sessions. Data were collected on the three core behaviors (controller medication
adherence, rescue inhaler availability, and smoking cessation/reduction), number
of symptom days, symptom nights, days of restricted activity, days of changed
plans, missed school days, asthma-related emergency department visits and
hospitalizations, and quality of life, at baseline and twelve months later.

Results:
Students
in the intervention group showed less negative change in behaviors relating to
rescue inhaler availability, compared with students in the control group. The
intervention students also demonstrated a marginal increase in controller
medication adherence, but there were no other impacts on core behaviors. In
addition, compared with control students, intervention students had fewer
symptom days, symptom nights, missed school days, days of restricted activity,
and asthma-related hospitalizations. They also had marginally fewer days of
changed plans, and emergency department visits. There was no improvement in
quality of life for intervention students, but there was a decrease in quality
for control students.

SOURCES
FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

Joseph,
C.L., Peterson, E., Havstad, S., Johnson, C.C., Hoerauf, S., Stringer, S.,
Gibson-Scipio, W., Ownby, D.R., Elston-Lafata, J., Pallonen, U., & Strecher, V.
(2007). A web-based, tailored asthma management program for urban
African-American high school students. American Journal of Respiratory and
Critical Care Medicine, 175,
888-895.

Website:

http://chcr.umich.edu/project.php?id=971

KEYWORDS:
Adolescents (12-17), High School, Males and Females (Co-ed), Black/African American, Urban,
School-based, Cost, Computer-based, Health Status/Condition, Other Physical
Health

Program
information last updated on 12/15/10.