Lay experiences and concerns with asthma in an urban hispanic community

Laurene Tumiel-Berhalter, Luis E. Zayas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Scopus citations


    Background: National asthma guidelines are often not translated into practice. Barriers to translation impact both provider and patient adherence. Purpose: This qualitative study describes how perceptions and experiences of patients with asthma or their caregivers affect disease management in a Puerto Rican community in Buffalo, NY. Methods: Two community-based asthma workshops following a focus group format were conducted with 22 Puerto Rican adults with asthma or who cared for asthmatic children. A bingual-bicultural community moderator used a semistructured interview guide to foster discussion on asthma definitions, triggers, management, coping and concerns. Four analysts interpreted data transcripts following the grounded theory approach, identifying salient thematic categories. Multiple analysts and a postsearch for conflicting evidence support analytical trustworthiness. Results: Perceptions of illness revealed concerns about the deceiving character and burden of asthma. Recognition of indoor household triggers underscored concerns about the impact on quality of life, emergency department use, and the ineffectiveness or side effects of some prescribed therapies. Misconceptions about asthma and self-management strategies were identified. Conclusions: Learning about lay perceptions and management approaches regarding asthma may afford healthcare professionals insight to better understand, educate and care for ethnic minority patients, and help to improve their asthma outcomes.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)875-880
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of the National Medical Association
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1 2006


    • Asthma
    • Latinos
    • Patient education
    • Qualitative analysis

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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