Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Christina L. Duncan

Committee Member

Cheryl Bodiford McNeil

Committee Member

Nicholas Turiano


Asthma knowledge is an essential factor in being able to consistently and effectively manage asthma symptoms over time, which in turn reduces asthma morbidity and improves quality of life. The way in which certain provider factors, such as communication strategies or techniques, may differentially impact pediatric patients and their caregivers has little in the way of prior investigation. The current study involves a secondary analysis from a larger project. This larger study included 45 pediatric asthma patients (ages 8-17 years; M = 11.79) and their primary caregiver recruited from pediatric asthma and allergy clinics within the WVU Medicine system to take part in a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the relative impact of two types of asthma action plans (AAPs), text-based or pictorial. The asthma action plan education session during their initial session in clinic was audiotaped, in which the asthma care provider described the child’s prescribed asthma care plan. Patient and caregiver knowledge of the prescribed asthma care regimen was assessed separately via a structured interview immediately after asthma education. The overarching objective of this study was to evaluate the potential mediator role that provider, parent, and child communication plays in the effect of asthma education intervention type (i.e., type of AAP) on asthma treatment knowledge. While several significant correlations were found, none of the communication variables considered were found to either significantly predict asthma knowledge or mediate the relation between the type of AAP the patient received and AKI scores. These non-significant findings likely stem from limited variability and low frequency in key communication variables (e.g., family questions to provider, provider assessment of family understanding). However, child age, time since diagnosis, and having had a pictorial AAP were all significantly and positively correlated with child AKI scores. Future studies should engage a larger number of providers from a wider range of expertise and include communication training for providers and families when evaluating the utility of a pictorial AAP.