Objective: An asthma outreach worker (AOW) can provide home-based education about asthma management and methods to minimize home environmental asthma triggers. A theory-based AOW program was implemented by a community partnership and its effectiveness was evaluated.
Design: Baseline and follow-up surveys were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the AOW.
Sample: The convenience sample consisted of 60 caregivers whose children received AOW services.
Measures: Quality of life, use of asthma management plans, medication use, health care utilization, home environmental behavior changes to reduce triggers, and satisfaction with AOW services were self-reported by caregivers.
Results: Caregivers reported significantly higher quality of life at follow-up than at baseline. At follow-up, 93% of the children had asthma management plans as compared with 31% at baseline. Self-reported hospitalizations were significantly reduced. All of the families made changes to minimize household asthma triggers. Caregivers reported high satisfaction with the AOW and 90% of them felt that the home environmental assessment conducted by the AOW helped improve their child's asthma.
Conclusion: Short-term community-based AOW services for children can be effective in enhancing self-management capabilities, improving the quality of life, increasing the use of asthma management plans, and helping families reduce asthma triggers in the home environment.