National Health and Medical Research Council

An education intervention for childhood asthma by Indigenous Health Workers

Also known as: An education intervention for childhood asthma by local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers,

There are only a few studies on asthma in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and those are restricted to prevalence and hospitalisation data. We have previously shown that the prevalence of childhood asthma in the Torres is similar to that of mainstream Australia and that children of this region generally have more severe asthma than children seen in urban areas. Using a model of care appropriate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the involvement of local Indigenous health care workers, we have adapted an asthma information package. With Study 1, we will examine the effect of local health care workers using this education package to educate children about their asthma. Our hypotheses is that children who receive additional asthma education by health worker have better asthma control. So we propose a randomized controlled trial of a culturally appropriate education intervention with children diagnosed with asthma. Enrolled children will be allocated by chance to one of the two regimes: (1) additional asthma education intervention: children will receive a personalised booklet (containing individual data eg. growth, photo of the child, health worker visits etc) that will be used during the medical consultation. They will also have 3 visits from the health worker for their asthma. (2) no additional intervention (they will receive usual information about asthma at the consultation and no health worker visit). With Study 2 we will examine the natural history of children with asthma and asthma-like symptoms and with symptoms suggestive of sleep breathing problems. Two groups of children previously seen by this team (5 years ago) will be clinically reassessed. Our hypothesis is that short to medium term history of asthma in Indigenous children in the Torres Strait is similar to non-Indigenous Australian children where there is a general improvement with age.
Lead Investigator: Dr Patricia Valery

Co-Investigator(s): A/Pr Janelle Stirling; A/Pr Ian Masters; Ms Yancy Laifoo; Prof Anne Chang; A/Pr Patricia Valery

Total Grant Budget: $AUD 97500
Application Year: 2005
Start Year: 2006
End Year: 2006
Main Funding Group: Research Support
Grant Type (Funding Scheme): NHMRC Project Grants
Grant Sub Type: Standard Project Grant

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