Evaluation of a School-Based, Teen-Focused, Asthma Intervention: Results from Participatory Research
Perritt, R. L. (2005, December). Evaluation of a School-Based, Teen-Focused, Asthma Intervention: Results from Participatory Research. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA.
With support from CDC, RTI International conducted an evaluation of Power Breathing, an asthma intervention for adolescents. The evaluation approach followed a four-stage process (groundwork, formalization, implementation, utilization) within a participatory research framework, including components from CDC's Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health. We employed a quasi-experimental design that utilized matched comparison schools, pre-/post-testing, and mixed-mode data collection. Students were surveyed in school at baseline, post-program, and follow-up. Qualitative data were also collected from school nurses, teachers, and program facilitators to assess the programmatic aspects of the intervention. Intervention students showed greater increase in knowledge (p=.014), more improvement in attitudes about asthma (p=.004), and greater improvement in quality of life (p=.011) from baseline to post-program. Significantly more intervention than control students demonstrated improvement in asthma management behavior, i.e., use of peak flow meter (p=.004) at follow-up. Very positive responses were obtained from the study participants regarding program performance, fidelity, and quality. We will also discuss the role of participatory research principles in school-based research and the implications of the findings on school health practices and policies.