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Therapy education or asthma self-management helps asthmatic children and families to understand the illness and take control of their health, maintaining and improving their quality of life.

The educational programme is an integral part of the Misurina Model for treating asthma in children and adolescents. Dr Alberta Xodo, psychologist and psychotherapist at Pio XII explains exactly what the educational programme of the Institute is, including a part that is common to all and another that is personalised depending on the needs of each patient.

The educational programme developed by the non-profit Istituto Pio XII consists in brief custom courses, designed to allow asthmatic children and their families to improve their management of illnesses and how they follow the prescribed therapies, to learn respiratory rehabilitation techniques, and to use a specialised diagnostic laboratory for a precise, detailed understanding of the pathology. The courses, open to all, are called “Campus for Breathing and are held by medical and paramedical personnel from the Institute who have been specially trained to educate people on how to self-manage asthma.

 

Learn more about Campus for Breathing

What are the main objectives of the educational programme at the Istituto Pio XII? 

Misurina’s educational health programme is designed to:

  1. Improve the self-management of asthma;
  2. Increase adherence to medical prescriptions (so-called therapeutic compliance)

Essentially, the programme aims to:

  • Increase awareness of the child and the family regarding asthma
  • Help the child and family to prevent asthma attacks, avoiding the situations that could trigger or contribute to them (presence of dust mites and other allergens in the home, exposure to allergens outside the home, emotional and stress cues, etc.);
  • Place the child and family in the condition of being able to correctly perform therapies and the respiratory physical therapy
  • Make the child and family more aware of the symptoms, learning how to recognise those that are cause for worry and that require consultation with an expert
  • Help the family members as a whole to integrate asthma into their lives without it becoming a source of excessive stress, thus allowing the child to lead a normal life, to participate in sports, to assimilate with peers (friends and schoolmates), and to have a normal school experience.

Who is the education programme designed for?

The educational programme of Istituto Pio XII is designed both for parents and children, the children being able to participate in the sessions on their own, based on their age. For children admitted on a full-time basis, on the other hand, the instruction becomes a permanent education, focused more on lifestyle than on theories and techniques. Admitted children and adolescents actively participate in the management of their respiratory difficulties and are constantly involved in clinical analyses and monitoring.

In addition, at Pio XII the rehabilitation programme includes the participation of patients in physical activities and sports (even competitive) that help to increase lung and respiration capacity. Taking into consideration their interests and attitudes, the admitted youth are involved in the definition of this rehabilitation plan, which is not at all secondary to the pharmacological therapy.

In the busiest seasons, the Misurina team expands to include a music teacher specialised in respiratory rehabilitation via wind instruments (saxophone).

What is the educational approach?

The educational approach at Pio XII is purely experiential. In other words, we use:

  • 1Practical demonstrations
  • 2Role playing
  • 3 Drawing
  • 4 Cartoons with dedicated games

The education is truly effective in improving management of the illness?

The national and international scientific literature and the GINA guidelines consider education to be a fundamental tool for helping patients and their families.

In general, how do Misurina guests respond? Who are better “students,” parents or children?

It depends on the age. Children are very curious about our demonstrations, in which parents also participate. Adolescents, on the other hand, are harder to involve, especially if a parent is present, while they are more attentive and interested when addressed directly as adults. We have found the same to be true even when the kids are in groups.

Most parents are enthusiastic about our approach: dedicating time, listening to doubts, reassuring and coming up with the right decisions together is maybe the most important part… and the most gratifying part in any educational programme. We encourage parents to ask us about any doubts so that we can assist them immediately and avoid errors – due either to lack of attention or a naive or unscientific approach – that might be repeated over time.

The education/information continues even after discharge?

The Misurina Model assistance programme certainly does not end with discharge. The families can call or write us at any time. In fact, modern technology gives us the great advantage of staying close to our patients, creating a sort of “lifetime education.” So, at Misurina we are far from the world, but not out of this world!

 

 

As part of our support programme, we have developed a Guide to a Healthy Home that, step by step, room by room, helps to identify and assess the most common problems that can contribute to worsening the air quality and environment, both inside and outside the home.

Learn more