Outcomes of Asthma Education and Healthy Homes Curriculum Provided Through Community Health Workers in South Texas Colonias

Genny Carrillo Zuniga, Rose Lucio, Yoon Ho Seol, Norma Garza, Miguel A. Zuniga, Dora Hernandez, Whitney Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background. Childhood asthma rates are highest among minorities and among those who reside in low-income communities. This is especially true of children who reside in colonias, which are defined as substandard housing communities in irregular rural settlements located along the US-Mexico border. This study aimed to evaluate the knowledge acquired by participants before and after an educational intervention was provided. Methods. This study used the healthy homes training approach, including integrated pest management, identification of asthma triggers, and asthma case management, to increase asthma management awareness and control. This dual training approach combined a healthy homes module with asthma education and was implemented by certified promotoras (community health workers) in South Texas colonias. Promotoras are generally trusted and respected individuals who live in or around the communities in which they work. The promotoras identified and trained 108 parents of children aged between 5 and 12 years in households in Hidalgo County with lifetime asthma diagnosed by his/her physician and of children who may not have been diagnosed by a health professional with asthma but suffer from symptoms of asthma. Results. Asthma management and healthy homes knowledge, including attitudes and practices, significantly improved among parents after the implementation of the dual training program. Of the 108 participants, 78% had never received asthma education, 78% had a child with lifetime asthma diagnosed by his/her physician, and 32% reported having medical insurance. Pretest and posttest comparison results based on 9 out of 14 questions related to asthma triggers and healthy home principles showed a significant improvement in knowledge gained among the participants. Regardless of the study limitations (self-report instrument for the pretest and the posttest), the results showed that families in colonias living with asthma benefit from an integrated training approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Asthma and Allergy Educators
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012


  • asthma education
  • community outreach
  • healthy homes
  • promotoras

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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