Controlling Asthma in Preschoolers: Live Webinar Education for Their Caregivers
Joy C. Sawicki and Krista A. White
The Expert Panel Report (EPR-3) (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute & National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, 2007) recommends asthma self-management education along with ambulatory care. Despite the need for education, barriers to attending in-person classes often exist. The primary purpose of this research was to evaluate the impact of a novel education format for caregivers (live webinar) on asthma control in preschoolers. Additional aims included determining satisfaction with webinar learning, and impact on emergency visits and hospitalizations. A one-group prospective cohort design with repeated measures was used. Caregivers of preschool children with asthma from a large pediatric pulmonology clinic (N = 30) participated in a single one-hour live asthma education webinar. Asthma control was measured using the Test for Respiratory and Asthma Control in Kids (TRACK) prior to the webinar, one month, and three months following. Demographic, webinar satisfaction, and emergency care/hospitalization questionnaires were also administered. Statistically significant increases in TRACK scores over three points in time (n = 21), indicated improved asthma control (F = 5,128, p = 0.01). More than 84% found the webinar convenient, helpful, and would recommend to others. Emergency visits (<60%) and hospitalizations (<70%) remained consistent with the study site's historically low emergency and hospitalization rates. Innovative methods of teaching are crucial skills for health care providers to keep patient education interesting and accessible. These research findings suggest that live webinar asthma education is an effective method of teaching and results in improved asthma control.