A Children’s Asthma Education Program: Roaring Adventures of Puff (RAP), Improves Quality of Life
BACKGROUND: It is postulated that children with asthma who receive an interactive, comprehensive education program would improve their quality of life, asthma management and asthma control compared with children receiving usual care.OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility and impact of ‘Roaring Adventures of Puff’ (RAP), a six-week childhood asthma education program administered by health professionals in schools.METHODS: Thirty-four schools from three health regions in Alberta were randomly assigned to receive either the RAP asthma program (intervention group) or usual care (control group). Baseline measurements from parent and child were taken before the intervention, and at six and 12 months.RESULTS: The intervention group had more smoke exposure at baseline. Participants lost to follow-up had more asthma symptoms. Improvements were significantly greater in the RAP intervention group from baseline to six months than in the control group in terms of parent’s perceived understanding and ability to cope with and control asthma, and overall quality of life (P<0.05). On follow-up, doctor visits were reduced in the control group.CONCLUSION: A multilevel, comprehensive, school-based asthma program is feasible, and modestly improved asthma management and quality of life outcomes. An interactive group education program offered to children with asthma at their school has merit as a practical, cost-effective, peer-supportive approach to improve health outcomes.