Studies Looks at Literacy Intervention Among Asthmatic Minority Youth, Factors That Influence American Indian/Alaska Natives’ Participation in Cancer Clinical Trials
"The Impact of Literacy Enhancement on Asthma-Related Outcomes Among Underserved Children" (.pdf), Journal of the National Medical Association: The study looks at whether improving literacy among children with low rates of literacy would influence asthma-related health outcomes. Researcher Lawrence Robinson of the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles and colleagues over a sixth-month period studied literacy and self-management of asthma among 110 mostly black and Hispanic children who had been receiving care from the pediatric allergy clinic at the Martin Luther King Jr.-Harbor Hospital Medical Alert Center. The children received two hours of literacy training and 30 minutes of asthma education on Saturdays for at least six months. All of the children displayed significant improvement in reading and self-efficacy, which researchers said was directly related to a decrease in hospitalizations and emergency department visits. The study concludes that improved "literacy is a sustainable factor that will not only improve asthma outcomes but will enhance the potential for educational success" among minority youth with low literacy skills (Robinson et al., JNMA, August 2008). "Barriers to Cancer Clinical Trial Participation Among Native Elders," Ethnicity & Disease: Researchers surveyed 112 elder American Indian/Alaska Native adults and assessed their willingness to participate in a hypothetical cancer clinical trial. Factors most strongly influencing participation included having a lead researcher of Native descent, a study physician with experience treating American Indians/Alaska Natives, family support for participation and hope that the study would result in new treatments. Factors that decreased willingness to participate were living far from the study site and fear that confidentiality could be breached. According to the study, the results indicate a "need to establish partnerships with Native communities and include American Indian/Alaska Native and culturally competent professionals in research efforts" (LaVillie et al., Ethnicity & Disease, Spring 2008).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.