Improvement of rural children's asthma self-management by lay health educators

J Sch Health. 2008 Sep;78(9):506-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00336.x.


Background: The purpose of the present analysis is to examine changes in rural children's asthma self-management after they received lay health educator (LHE)-delivered classes.

Methods: Elementary schools were randomly assigned to the treatment or attention-control condition and their participating students received either asthma education or general health promotion education, respectively. The triethnic sample was composed of 183 children (46% Hispanic, 29.5% non-Hispanic white, 22% African American, and 2.6% other categories) who had a mean age of 8.78 years (SD = 1.24). The time frame from baseline to postintervention was 12 weeks.

Results: Repeated measures analysis of variance found main effects in changes in scores for children's asthma knowledge, asthma self-management, self-efficacy for managing asthma symptoms, and metered dose inhaler (MDI) technique and significant group interaction effects for the treatment intervention on the measures of children's asthma knowledge, asthma self-management, and MDI technique.

Conclusions: The delivery of an asthma health education intervention by trained LHEs to school-aged children was an effective means for improving children's knowledge and skills in asthma self-management.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Community Health Workers*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medically Underserved Area
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Rural Health
  • School Health Services
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Workforce


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents