Study Shows Combining In-Home Education with Housing Interventions Improves Childhood Asthma Control

The National Center for Healthy Housing  (NCHH), the King County Housing Authority (KCHA), and Public Health-Seattle & King County completed a study showing that combining weatherization and healthy home interventions with in-home asthma education from community health workers (CHW) significantly improves childhood asthma control.

“We have long known that trained CHWs can successfully work with families to improve a child’s asthma,” said Breysse, a program manager with NCHH. “This study’s findings show that even greater benefits can be achieved when CHW programs are coupled with weatherization home repairs. This project also shows that partnerships between weatherization and public health agencies are feasible and effective.”

Published online in the January edition of the American Journal of Public Health, the study, “Effect of Weatherization Combined with Community Health Worker In-Home Education on Asthma Control,” assessed the asthma control benefits of adding weatherization and health interventions to an existing in-home CHW education program versus a traditional model of health  education alone.

“Like other chronic health problems, preventing and controlling asthma is  not just about individual behavior. It takes changing the unhealthy environments where people live, and supporting them to develop the knowledge and skills to make meaningful differences in their health,” said Dr. James Krieger, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Section at Public Health-Seattle & King County.

In addition to NCHH, KCHA, and Public Health-Seattle & King County, this study involved schools and head start programs within the Highline School District area, an ethnically diverse, primarily low-income area in southwest King County, to identify study participants. Partnerships among these varied organizations allowed researchers to provide both physical housing remediation and family education interventions to families with children suffering from moderate to severe asthma and achieve better results than singular methods.

“The study findings point to exciting future possibilities for joint program design between housing authorities and local public health departments,” said Stephen Norman, executive director of the King County Housing Authority.

The complete article may be found here.