Characteristics of Successful Asthma Programs

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SYNOPSISObjective.We identified characteristics of interventions associated with positive asthma outcomes to understand how programs can be improved.Methods.We identified asthma interventions from the peer-reviewed literature or through a nomination process for unpublished programs. Initially, we identified 532 interventions. Of those, 223 met our eligibility criteria (e.g., focus on asthma, completed an evaluation, and demonstrated at least one asthmarelated health outcome) and provided information on program components and processes, administration, evaluation, and findings through telephone interviews, program documents, and published reports. We analyzed bivariate relationships between programmatic factors and outcomes using Chi-square statistics, Fisher's exact tests, and unconditional logistic regression. We confirmed findings for all programs by analyzing the subset with published results in peer-reviewed journals.Results.Our findings indicated that programs were more likely to report a positive impact on health outcomes if they (1) were community based, (2) engaged the participation of community-based organizations, (3) provided program components in a clinical setting, (4) provided asthma training to health-care providers, (5) collaborated with other organizations and institutions and with government agencies, (6) designed a program for a specific racial/ethnic group, (7) tailored content or delivery based on individual health or educational needs, and (8) conducted environmental assessments and tailored interventions based on these assessments.Conclusions.Positive asthma outcomes were associated with specific program characteristics: being community centered, clinically connected, and continuously collaborative. Program developers and implementers who build these characteristics into their interventions will be more likely to realize desired asthma outcomes.

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