Supporting parents of Aboriginal children with asthma: Preferences and pilot interventions

  • Miriam Stewart
  • Heather Castleden
  • Malcolm King
  • Nicole Letourneau
  • Jeffrey R. Masuda
  • Lisa Bourque Bearskin
  • Sharon Anderson
  • Roxanne Blood
Keywords: Aboriginal, asthma, support, education, intervention, participatory, parents, children


Asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions affecting Aboriginal children and adolescents in Canada, with associated high rates of hospitalization and emergency room visits. Social support deficits and social isolation pose significant problems for Aboriginal families coping with asthma challenges. However, support interventions that focus on the unique support needs of parents of Aboriginal children affected by asthma have not been investigated. Consequently, our study introduced support interventions to meet parents’ perceived support needs and intervention preferences. The study was conducted in urban and rural sites in three Canadian provinces. The interdisciplinary research team encompassed Aboriginal researchers and knowledge users, and the multimethod participatory research design was guided by Aboriginal community advisory committees. Diverse support interventions, designed to address the particular preferences and needs of parents in specific communities, were offered. Seventy-seven parents participated. These parents reported expanded support resources, increased support seeking, improved coping skills, and decreased support and education needs following the interventions, which were tailored to their unique needs. These participatory interventions were considered accessible, acceptable, relevant, and useful by parents. 

Research Papers