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The National Asthma Control Program (NACP) was created in 1999 to help the millions of asthmatic patients in the U.S. by reducing asthma-related deaths, hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and limitations on activities. However, the program has faced difficulty in clearly defining its mission and determining where it fits within CDC’s work in environmental and public health.

FMG worked with the Air Pollution and Respiratory Health Branch (APRHB) of the National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in order to better understand barriers around pediatric asthma self-management. The goal of this effort was to develop key messages and messaging strategies to help youth with asthma better manage their condition and to reduce the number of asthma-related emergencies in the United States.


FMG completed an in-depth literature review of pediatric and adolescent asthma self-management, including the impact that parents, caregivers, and educators have on patient care. This comprehensive literature review provided a foundation to develop a thorough study protocol. The protocol included FMG’s recommendations for how to best assess research questions, how to develop in-depth interviews (IDI)/focus group discussion guides, and how to create an appropriate screener to recruit participants with experience relative to the study.

FMG conducted a large scale qualitative research effort. FMG managed all recruitment and fielding for focus groups. We recruited participants, hosted data collection at our Cognitive and Usability Testing Lab on-site, and provided a RIVA-trained moderator for all sessions. We conducted 12 focus groups: six with youth aged 12-18 who are disparately affected by asthma, and six with caregivers of youth disparately affected. The groups were held across three locations. As a supplement to the focus groups, FMG conducted a series of stakeholder interviews with educators and health care providers involved in children’s self-management of asthma. FMG also created Institutional Review Board and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) packages, conducted an in-depth analysis of the interview data, and provided CDC with a final summary report.

Additionally, FMG worked closely with CDC to use these results to develop four key messages for message testing among similar groups. Findings from the testings informed prototype material development for a national educational and information campaign.


FMG assisted in the development of a new branding strategy for NACP, and this strategy has provided needed direction for an important CDC sub-agency. FMG’s work has also contributed to materials and prototype development. These materials will be used as part of a CDC campaign to educate asthma patients and help their parents, caregivers, and educators facilitate asthma self-management among children and adolescents.

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Ronne Ostby

Vice President, Insights and Strategy

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