Background on Group Education
What are group education strategies?
- Through group education interventions, trained asthma educators or facilitators provide information and resources as part of group interactions to increase knowledge, skills and support related to asthma management.
- Group education session interventions may include presentations as well as individual or group activities that occur in medical settings, classrooms (e.g., schools, colleges or universities), community centers, homes, churches, fitness or recreational facilities, worksites and other desired locations. Guided by a detailed curriculum, these interventions can:
- increase knowledge and skills regarding asthma;
- provide information about the association between behaviors or environments and asthma;
- promote specific behavioral changes,(e.g., avoid triggers for asthma attacks, comply with appropriate medication regimens);
- educate participants about the challenges with making lifestyle changes; and
- influence social support or group norms.
How does group education impact asthma related behaviors?
- For many individuals, the group is a natural setting. People are often taught in groups, live in groups, and play in groups. Social interaction can be a key aspect of the developmental process as individuals learn by observing others and the results of their actions.
- Similar to individual education interventions and campaigns and promotions, group education interventions can be designed to meet the needs of general audiences or specific groups (e.g., “targeted messages”). . For example, group education interventions can address the special needs of parents of children with asthma.
- Group education interventions can be most effective if they take into consideration both individual characteristics (e.g., knowledge, skills) and group circumstances (e.g., social norms, peer pressure). For example, it may be more helpful to have different group members share their experiences with asthma or have children with asthma describe how they have addressed various challenges they encounter.
How can I use group education strategies in my asthma intervention?
- Group education interventions may be incorporated into existing education interventions (e.g., health education classes in schools) or held independently.
What type of group education is best for my asthma intervention?
- There are many different kinds of group interactions that serve various purposes:
- Groups to work with classmates of children with asthma as well as teachers to help them understand and develop empathy for children with asthma.
- Groups to work with people with asthma to increase knowledge and skills related to asthma treatment and to improve self-management skills.
- Groups related to general life adjustments or specific life-style choices (e.g., cleaning and removing allergens from the home as part of daily or weekly routines).
With whom do I need to work to develop a group education strategy for my asthma intervention?
- To develop your group education interventions, you will need to work with experienced health educators. Other useful partners may include senior centers/independent living facilities, community centers, community organizations, coalitions, schools, worksites, health departments, researchers, community members, and community leaders.