Asthma in Children With Comorbid Obesity: Intervention Development in a High-Risk Urban Community

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Abstract

This article describes formative work conducted to inform design of an intervention targeting asthma control in overweight/obese children. Using a PRECEDE-PROCEED framework and a community-based participatory research approach, investigators conducted key informant interviews and focus groups in a low-income urban community. Key informants (N = 18) represented schools and community agencies. Focus groups were conducted with caregivers (4 groups, N = 31) and children (3 groups, N = 30). Focus group participants were low-income and African American, Puerto Rican, or Mexican. Children were age 5 to 12 years and overweight or obese with a diagnosis of asthma; caregivers had a child meeting these criteria. A range of issues competed with families’ day-to-day prioritization and management of asthma, with social limitations reported as the most important issue. Many school-level and individual-level barriers were described. Caregivers and children drew strong connections between asthma and obesity and described their need to comanage these conditions. The connection between the diseases was not as obvious for the key informants, many of whom control the services families receive. These results led to an understanding of key targets and components that are needed for a multilevel community-based intervention to be relevant and appropriate in low-income children with both asthma and obesity.

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