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Wayne State University wins NIH grant to d


DETROIT — A Wayne State University School of Medicine researcher has been awarded a $2.5 million grant to develop an effective mobile management intervention program to improve asthma control in young black American adults.

Karen MacDonell, Ph.D., associate professor of family medicine and public health sciences, will use National Institutes of Health R01 grant to support “Asthma and Technology in Emerging African American Adults – The ATHENA Project “.

Asthma causes significant health effects and deaths in the United States, with particularly high rates among emerging black adults between the ages of 18 and 29. Although intensive face-to-face interventions are often difficult to implement in the target population, interventions that provide education and address the underlying motivation for asthma management may be the best way to achieve this. more effective in ensuring compliance with medical prescriptions and reducing chronic asthma attacks that can lead to death.

The goal of the ATHENA project is to develop an effective mobile asthma management intervention – one that includes physical activity – to improve asthma control in young black adults.

The research team will assess the ability of a number of technological components to aid and improve traditional asthma education among Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 30. These components include:

  • The Motivation Enhancement System for Asthma Management, a four-session mobile intervention using assisted self-regulation and motivational interviewing, provides personalized content based on activity level, daily experiences and goals of each participant.
  • Supportive Accountability will be administered by nurses using targeted mobile support, including Skype and phone calls, to provide education, promote self-efficacy and overcome barriers through a motivation-based framework.
  • Text messaging to study participants will provide reminders about asthma education, medication adherence, and physical activity.
  • Participants will use wearable technology to track physical activity to help achieve user-defined physical activity goals.

The team will evaluate the components and combination of approaches to identify the most effective methods for developing an innovative, cost-effective, and effective program defined by outcomes represented by clinically meaningful improvement in asthma control.

The experimental design, said Dr. MacDonell, is equivalent to conducting multiple randomized pilot clinical trials to assess the effectiveness of each component using only a fraction of the sample size and resources.

“At the end of the study, we will have an optimized and empirically supported mobile asthma management intervention to improve asthma control in emerging African American adults,” she said.

Participants will be recruited from multiple sites in the American Lung Association’s Network of Airway Clinical Research Centers and outpatient clinics at Detroit Medical Center. Investigators will collect data at three, six and 12 months into the program.

“We hypothesize that after the intervention, participants with uncontrolled asthma will show clinically meaningful improvement in asthma control,” Dr. MacDonell said. “We hypothesize that improvements in asthma management behaviors (including physical activity), quality of life, symptoms, compliance, and exacerbations will also be observed.”

Dr. MacDonell’s co-principal investigator is Alan Baptist, MD, MPH, associate professor of internal medicine and health behavior and health education at the University of Michigan. Other team members include Samiran Ghosh, Ph.D., professor; April Carcone, Ph.D., associate professor; Angela Tiura, Ph.D., assistant professor, all from the WSU Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences; and Wanda Gibson-Scipio, Ph.D., FNP-BC, FAANP, ATSF, associate professor at WSU College of Nursing.

The five-year NIH grant (1R01NR019566) totals $2,507,578.


About Wayne State University

Wayne State University is one of the nation’s leading urban public research universities. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, Michigan and around the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit research.wayne.edu.

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