Development of a health education program to promote the self-management of cystic fibrosis

Health Educ Q. 1991 Winter;18(4):429-43. doi: 10.1177/109019819101800403.


The creative challenge of health education for chronic illnesses is the translation of theory-based intervention methods into practical strategies that can be organized into a logical series of learning activities to influence changes in environmental, cognitive, or behavioral factors. A case example describing the development and implementation of a comprehensive health-education intervention for the self-management of cystic fibrosis (CF) is presented. The design of intervention strategies began with an assessment of the educational needs for self-management of CF, followed by specification and validation of particular self-management behaviors. Behavioral and learning objectives then were formulated for each of the self-management behaviors. Constructs from social learning theory considered to be important influences on specified self-management behaviors in CF were identified. Taking into consideration the learning needs of the target population and the practical constraints of the system for providing health care, various intervention methods then were devised based on social learning theory. Lastly, the intervention methods chosen were translated into strategies organized into a series of practical learning activities for CF patients and their families. The process described here should prove useful to others who are planning and developing comprehensive health education programs for self-management of chronic illnesses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystic Fibrosis / psychology
  • Cystic Fibrosis / rehabilitation*
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Patient Education as Topic / organization & administration*
  • Program Development*
  • Psychological Theory
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Teaching Materials