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Power Breathing

Ribbon powerbreathThe Power Breathing Program provides a basic understanding of asthma and its management in a peer-friendly environment. It empowers and motivates adolescents, ages 11-19, to take control of their asthma on a personal level. Power Breathing is the only nationally available asthma education program on the market that acknowledges and addresses teens' social and lifestyle concerns.

The program is presented in three 90-minute sessions or alternately six 45-minute sessions suitable for school settings. An additional fourth session is designed for older teens leaving home or entering the workforce. Each session includes hands-on instruction; discussion and strategic thinking; video animation and Class Dismissed! -- a board game to test asthma knowledge.

Through the Power Breathing Program, teens learn that "they have the power" to control their asthma and not allow asthma to control them!

Program Goals

The Power Breathing Program is designed for teens to achieve each of the following goals:

  • Describe the basic pathophysiology of asthma and the role of inflammation.
  • State three triggers and irritants and measures to reduce or avoid them.
  • Express personal wishes and hopes with the expectation that these life goals can be achieved in spite of their asthma.
  • Develop constructive coping strategies to address concerns, fears and barriers in asthma management.
  • Use new communication skills in working with their asthma management team.
  • Introduce peak flow monitoring into their asthma management plan.
  • Identify classes of medications, how they work and when they should be taken.

Program Outline

Session One: Basic Asthma Education

  • How the body is affected.
  • The role of inflammation.
  • Triggers and irritants.

Session Two: Social and Emotional Issues of Asthma

  • Fitting in without jeopardizing health.
  • Family dynamics.
  • Realistic and reassuring coping mechanisms.

Session Three: Asthma Treatment

  • Myths and falsehoods.
  • Medication overview.
  • Peak flow monitoring.

Session Four: Transitions and Healthly Choices

  • Leaving home.
  • Entering the workforce.
  • Changing health care providers.
  • Dealing with peer pressure.

Program Materials

The Power Breathing Program kit includes:

  • "You've Got the Power" video (shown at the beginning of each session)
  • Facilitator Manual
  • Implementation Guide
  • Masters of reproducible handouts for teens and parents
  • Three Videos: (1) "You've Got the Power," (2) "A Message to Parents," (3) "Facilitator Orientation" (contains sessions 1-7 for facilitators' self-study and for teens who miss a class)
  • "Class Dismissed!" board game

Preparation of Facilitator

The Power Breathing Program Facilitator Manual and Implementation Guide are designed for the preparation of new facilitators. These materials provide information on the characteristics, educational needs and compliance issues unique to adolescents with asthma; strategies for communicating with adolescents; the goals and content of the Power Breathing Program; recruiting strategies; conducting a session; and follow-up activities.

Program Development

A diverse team of physicians, health educators and teens worked with AAFA during the development phase to ensure the effectiveness of the Power Breathing Program.

Program Validation

Preliminary reports from the Research Triangle Institute indicate significant improvement on multiple measures including asthma knowledge, attitudes about asthma, asthma management behaviors and quality of life. A full report on their recent research study validating the Power Breathing Program will be available soon. Moreover, the program has been referenced in the following article:

Berg J, Tichacek MJ, Theodorakis R. Evaluation of an educational program for adolescents with asthma. J Sch Nurs. 2004 Feb; 20 (1): 29-35.

$295 (Order #H-001HC)

Ribbon This symbol indicates a "validated" health education program – demonstrated through formal research to be an effective educational intervention.  

© Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
www.aafa.org 1-800-7-ASTHMA