Asthma management simulation for children: translating theory, methods, and strategies to effect behavior change

Simul Healthc. 2006 Fall;1(3):151-9. doi: 10.1097/01.SIH.0000244456.22457.e8.


Translating behavioral theories, models, and strategies to guide the development and structure of computer-based health applications is well recognized, although a continued challenge for program developers. A stepped approach to translate behavioral theory in the design of simulations to teach chronic disease management to children is described. This includes the translation steps to: 1) define target behaviors and their determinants, 2) identify theoretical methods to optimize behavioral change, and 3) choose educational strategies to effectively apply these methods and combine these into a cohesive computer-based simulation for health education. Asthma is used to exemplify a chronic health management problem and a computer-based asthma management simulation (Watch, Discover, Think and Act) that has been evaluated and shown to effect asthma self-management in children is used to exemplify the application of theory to practice. Impact and outcome evaluation studies have indicated the effectiveness of these steps in providing increased rigor and accountability, suggesting their utility for educators and developers seeking to apply simulations to enhance self-management behaviors in patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Educational Status
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Models, Educational
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Self Care