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YES WE CAN Children’s Asthma Program

This case study was prepared for CDC by Dr. LaMar Palmer of MAS Consultants. The purpose of the case study is to share the experience of one community as they attempt to address the problem of asthma. It does not represent an endorsement of this approach by CDC.

YES WE CAN Children’s Asthma Program: Intervention Research Outcomes

Dr. Shannon Thyne, the Medical and Research Director of the Pediatric Asthma Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital, is in charge of the research efforts to determine the health outcomes resulting from the YES WE CAN asthma program. Dr. Thyne characterizes YES WE CAN as a "reality-based" response to the asthma epidemic in San Francisco. One reality, she explains, is that physicians are often poor at communicating and in implementing the NAEPP guidelines. The second reality is that asthma care for poor, inner-city children is substandard. Finally, most children who have asthma and their families are not taught how to manage the disease. Dr. Thyne is a strong advocate for the patient education and training conducted in the clinic by the asthma team that is reinforced in the homes by the CHW. "Education and training supports the all important self-management element needed to sustain improvements in the child’s asthma symptoms and reduce morbidity" according to Dr. Thyne.

A pre- and post- intervention methodology has been used to measure health outcomes and evaluate the YES WE CAN asthma program efficacy. The asthma outcomes shown in Tables 4 and Tables 5 are from children treated in the San Francisco General Hospital asthma clinic between 1999 and 2003.

Health outcome data for children treated between 2001 and 2003 are also available from the YES WE CAN asthma clinic at the Mission Neighborhood Heath Center (Table 6).