Educational Intervention by Computer in Childhood Asthma: A Randomized Clinical Trial Testing the Use of a New Teaching Intervention in Childhood Asthma
To affect asthma-related knowledge, behavior, and morbidity, researchers tested a new educational intervention for children with asthma: an asthma-specific computer game called Asthma Command, which was specifically designed for this study. Sixty-five children with moderately severe asthma were randomly assigned to one of two groups, and 54 completed the study. Both groups were seen approximately six times during the 1 year of the study. Control subjects (n = 29) played routine computer games. Experimental subjects (n = 25) played Asthma Command. Compared with children in the control group, experimental subjects showed improvement in knowledge about asthma (P < .001), behavior related to the management of asthma (P < .008), and a trend toward the reduction of acute visits due to asthma (P < .13). Children in the experimental group also scored higher on the assessment of behaviors related to the management of asthma that were specifically addressed by the intervention provided by Asthma Command (P < .01). Differences between the control and experimental groups showed a greater improvement in the experimental group in 21 (84%) of the 25 outcome variables in the study (P = .004, Sign test). The study indicates that an asthma-specific computer game can significantly affect knowledge and behavior and may potentially affect morbidity in childhood asthma.
- Received December 4, 1984.
- Accepted April 1, 1985.
- Copyright © 1986 by the American Academy of Pediatrics