CAREER: Improving Health Literacy to Reduce Asthma Disparities

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Disparities in asthma morbidity and mortality by race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES) have been repeatedly documented. Low literacy may contribute to asthma disparities, yet prior asthma interventions have not satisfactorily addressed this literacy barrier; even though as many as half of adults living with asthma and caregivers to children with asthma have limited literacy skills. Multimedia and enhanced print materials may be effective bridge tools to help community asthma workers and pharmacists convey asthma knowledge and teach proper self-management in a manner that is accessible to a lower literate audience. The purpose of this research is to support the mentorship and research training of Dr. Michael Wolf at Northwestern University to develop Asthma Self Management Enabling (ASME) Materials that target education and empowerment messages to inner-city adults with asthma or caregivers to affected children to 'prime' these individuals to maximize their benefit from asthma self-management programs. The ASME materials will include a multimedia program and "enhanced print" handout; both designed to be accessible to a lower literate audience and be culturally appropriate. Training and research activities will be nested in an ongoing study led by the Primary Sponsor of this proposal (K. Weiss), and will include: 1) analyses of longitudinal data to better understand direct and indirect pathways through which literacy and cultural influences impact asthma self-management behaviors, 2) Use findings from those analyses to guide qualitative research activities for the development, refinement, and pilot testing of the ASME materials, and 3) field test the ASME materials among adults with asthma and caregivers to children with asthma, to see if the materials improve coping, knowledge, and self-efficacy. Findings from this research will support grant submissions for a more substantial evaluation of the materials; I will also explore opportunities to translate this methodology to the self-management of other chronic diseases.
Effective start/end date9/30/049/29/07


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5 K01 EH000067-03)


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