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Keywords:

  • asthma;
  • disease self-management;
  • social marketing

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND

Self-management of asthma can now leverage new media technologies. To optimize implementation they must employ a consumer-oriented developmental approach. This study explored benefits of and barriers to improved asthma self-management and identified key elements for the development of a digital media tool to enhance asthma control.

METHODS

Between August 2010 and January 2011, 18 teens with asthma and 18 parent-caregivers participated in semistructured in-depth interviews to identify mechanisms for improving asthma self-management and propose characteristics for developing a digital media tool to aid such efforts.

RESULTS

Teens and caregivers enumerated physician-recommended strategies for asthma management as well as currently employed strategies. Both groups thought of a potential digital media solution as positive, but indicated specific design requirements for such a solution to have utility. Whereas most participants perceived mobile platforms to be viable modes to improve asthma self-management, interest in having social networking capabilities was mixed.

CONCLUSIONS

A digital media product capable of tracking conditions, triggers, and related asthma activities can be a core element of improved asthma control for youth. Improved asthma control will help decrease school absenteeism.