Disenfranchised ethnic minority communities in the urban United States experience a high burden of asthma. Conventional office-based patient education often is insufficient to promote proper asthma management and coping practices responsive to minority patients' environments. This paper explores existing and alternative asthma information and education sources in three urban minority communities in western New York State to help design other practical educational interventions. Four focus groups (n = 59) and four town hall meetings (n = 109) were conducted in one Hispanic and two black communities. Focus groups included adult asthmatics or caretakers of asthmatics, and town meetings were open to all residents. A critical theory perspective informed the study. Asthma information and education sources, perceptions of asthma and ways of coping were elicited through semi-structured interviews. Data analysis followed a theory-driven immersion-crystallization approach. Several asthma education and information resources from the health care system, media, public institutions and communities were identified. Intervention recommendations highlighted asthma workshops that recognize participants as teachers and learners, offer social support, promote advocacy, are culturally appropriate and community-based and include health care professionals. Community-based, group health education couched on people's experiences and societal conditions offers unique opportunities for patient asthma care empowerment in minority urban communities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health