Journal Articles

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JMIR Research Protocols


BACKGROUND: Asthma causes substantial morbidity and mortality in the United States, particularly among African American emerging adults (AAEAs; aged 18-30 years), but very few asthma programs have targeted this population. Interventions that provide education and address underlying motivation for managing asthma may be the most effective. However, intensive face-to-face interventions are often difficult to implement in this population.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to develop an effective mobile asthma management intervention to improve control among AAEAs.

METHODS: We will assess the ability of multiple technologic components to assist and improve traditional asthma education. The first component is the Motivational Enhancement System for asthma management. It is a mobile 4-session intervention using supported self-regulation and motivational interviewing. Personalized content is based on each participant's activity level, daily experiences, and goals. The second component is supportive accountability. It is administered by asthma nurses using targeted mobile support (Skype/voice calls) to provide education, promote self-efficacy, and overcome barriers through a motivational interviewing-based framework. The third component is SMS text messaging. It provides reminders for asthma education, medication adherence, and physical activity. The fourth component is physical activity tracking. It uses wearable technology to help meet user-defined physical activity goals. Using a multiphase optimization strategy (MOST) framework, we will test intervention components and combinations of components to identify the most effective mobile intervention. The MOST framework is an innovative, and cost- and time-effective framework that uses engineering principles to produce effective behavioral interventions. We will conduct a component selection experiment using a factorial research design to build an intervention that has been optimized for maximum efficacy, using a clinically significant improvement in asthma. Participants (N=180) will be randomized to 1 of 6 intervention arms. Participants will be recruited from multiple sites of the American Lung Association-Airway Clinical Research Centers network and ambulatory care clinics at the Detroit Medical Center. Data collections will occur at baseline, and 3, 6, and 12 months.

RESULTS: At study completion, we will have an empirically supported optimized mobile asthma management intervention to improve asthma control for AAEAs. We hypothesize that postintervention (3, 6, and 12 months), participants with uncontrolled asthma will show a clinically significant improvement in asthma control. We also hypothesize that improvements in asthma management behaviors (including physical activity), quality of life, symptoms, adherence, and exacerbation (secondary outcomes) will be observed.

CONCLUSIONS: AAEAs are disproportionately impacted by asthma, but have been underrepresented in research. Mobile asthma management interventions may help improve asthma control and allow people to live healthier lives. During this project, we will use an innovative strategy to develop an optimized mobile asthma management intervention using the most effective combination of nurse-delivered asthma education, a smartphone app, and text messaging.



African American emerging adults, asthma control, asthma management, mHealth, mobile health, motivational interviewing, physical activity

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