244232 Development and implementation of a lay educator inpatient asthma education program

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:45 AM

Kristen Matlack, MPH, CHES , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Robyn Cohen, MD, MPH , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Yvonne Fetterman , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Gayle Higgins, MSN, CRNP, AE-C , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Jonathan Steinfeld, MD , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Mark Dovey, MD , Section of Pulmonology, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA
Background: Asthma education focusing on home management is an important part of clinical care for asthmatic children. Asthma education programs are highly variable and often labor, cost, and resource intensive. Successful asthma education programs often lack feasibility and sustainability, creating barriers to widespread implementation. We sought to create a low-cost, sustainable asthma education program at an urban children's hospital. Methods: A certified health educator, together with pediatric pulmonologists, developed a Social Cognitive Theory-based asthma education curriculum. Volunteers recruited from local universities were trained over two four hour standardized training sessions to become lay educators. During weekly four hour volunteer shifts, these trained lay educators conducted customized individual asthma education sessions based on the standard curriculum with inpatient asthmatics and their families. Volunteers also conducted telephone follow-up with educated families two weeks post-discharge. Two part-time coordinators, one of whom was the health educator who developed the program, trained the volunteers and monitored the program. Results: In 2010, 37 volunteers were trained as lay asthma educators. Although shift coverage varied with the season, asthma education was offered for two shifts per day, 7 days per week. Lay educators conducted 725 individual education sessions, successfully reaching the families of 47% of hospitalized asthmatic children that year. Telephone follow-up was completed with 61% of educated families. Conclusions: We created a viable and sustainable inpatient asthma education program at an urban children's hospital with limited resources. A randomized, controlled trial is currently underway to evaluate the impact of this program on patient outcomes.

Learning Areas:
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the process of implementing a hospital-wide inpatient asthma education program. 2. Explain the benefits of using lay volunteers to conduct inpatient asthma education. 3. Identify the challenges of maintaining continuity in a volunteer-based program.

Keywords: Asthma, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the certified health educator (CHES) who developed the curriculum and subsequent asthma education program described in the abstract. As the programís coordinator, I have trained lay educators to administer the asthma education curriculum and perform telephone follow-up. I supervise the program at an urban childrenís hospital.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.