We hypothesized that an educational intervention based on a readiness model would lead to improved health outcomes among patients with asthma. Within a randomized control design in an urban Latino and African-American community we conducted an intensive three-month pediatric intervention. A Family Coordinator provided patient education based on a readiness-to-learn model, and facilitated improved interactions between the patient and the doctor. Family education addressed the most basic learning needs of patients with asthma by improving their perception of asthma symptom persistence using asthma diaries and peak flown measures. The physician intervention focused cliniciancs' attention on patients' diary records and peak flow measures, and encouraged physicians to use stepped action plans. Patients were also tested for allergic sensitization and provided strategies to reduce contact with allergens and other asthma triggers. The results showed significant improvements by intervention group families on measures of knowledge, health belief, self-efficacy, self-regulatory skill, and adherence; decreases in symptom persistence and activity restriction; and increased prescription of anti-inflammatory medication by the physicians of the intervention group families.