SMART (Student Media-based Asthma Research Team): Engaging Adolescents to Understand Asthma in Their Communities

Prog Community Health Partnersh. 2016;10(4):523-532. doi: 10.1353/cpr.2016.0060.


Background: Asthma rates in Chicago exceed national averages and disproportionately affect minority adolescents. We collaborated with students in a neighborhood with high asthma prevalence to better understand community factors impacting asthma.

Objectives: To evaluate the impact of our Student Media-based Asthma Research Team (SMART) program on student, parent, and student-peer outcomes related to asthma.

Methods: Students with asthma (n = 11), their parents (n = 9), and student-peers (n = 91) participated in a school-based asthma intervention grounded in community-based participatory research (CBPR) principles and completed multiple pre-/post-intervention questionnaires.

Results: After the program, participants significantly increased (p < 0.05) asthma-related quality of life (QOL), asthma control, emotional support, and empowerment. Parents significantly increased their QOL and student-peers showed significant improvements in asthma knowledge.

Conclusions: This novel intervention-which used participatory media as a vehicle through which children learn about their own asthma and share their findings with parents and peers-was successful in engaging adolescents to improve asthma management and community support.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Chicago / epidemiology
  • Community-Based Participatory Research*
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Peer Group
  • Photography
  • Power, Psychological
  • Prevalence
  • Quality Improvement
  • Quality of Life*
  • Social Support