Education of parents of infants and very young children with asthma: a developmental evaluation of the Wee Wheezers program

J Asthma. 1996;33(4):239-54. doi: 10.3109/02770909609055365.


A randomized control trial of the Wee Wheezers asthma education program was conducted with 76 children < 7 years of age, 31% of whom were on a medication regimen consistent with mild, 51% with moderate, and 18% with moderately severe/severe asthma. Treatment children showed improved morbidity at 3-month follow-up relative to the changes in the controls: increased symptom-free days in the preceding 2 weeks (mean change of +2.2 vs. -2.6 in the controls; p = .004) and month (+2.0 vs. -3.8; p < .02), fewer nights of parental sleep interruption in a typical week (+0.7 vs. +1.8; p < or = .05), and a trend toward fewer asthma sick days (-0.2 vs +0.7; p = ns). These improvements were accompanied by significantly better parental asthma management compared with controls (more consistent use of preventive medications, p < or = .01; early symptom intervention, [corrected] p < or = .05) and trends toward more restrictions on smoking in the home (p < .07) and decreased parental confusion about asthma treatment (p < .11). This study provides evidence that a multisession program of asthma education for parents can improve parental asthma management and clinical outcomes in very young children and provides information on the validity and sensitivity of various asthma outcome measures in this age group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Attitude
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Parents / education*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Seasons