Illness Representations among Mexican Mothers of Children with Asthma (Pilot Study)

Principal Investigator: Kim Arcoleo

Funding: National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, center grant award P20 MD002316 NIMHD (2009-2012)

This study explored cultural influences on mothers’ conceptions of their child’s asthma and treatment choices.  Aim #1: To obtain the perspective of Mexican mothers regarding their experience of living with a child with asthma, their understanding of the nature of the disease, their beliefs and attitudes about asthma treatment, and their asthma management strategies. Aim #2: To better understand how acculturation influences mothers’ asthma illness representations and asthma management strategies. A total of 30 in-depth interviews were conducted among a purposeful sample of Mexican mothers of children ages 5-17 who have asthma. Alternative sources of funding were employed to conduct 30 interviews among a sample of Puerto Rican mothers in Bronx, NY. The data obtained from these qualitative studies served as preliminary studies for a funded R01 application titled “Asthma Disparities in Latino Children: Acculturation, Illness Representations & CAM.” The pilot study informed the Spanish language translation of the Asthma Illness Representation Scale© (AIRS). 

Arcoleo, K., Zayas, L.  E., Hawthorne, A., & Begay, R. (2015). Illness representation and cultural practices play a role in patient-centered care in childhood asthma: Experiences of Mexican mothers. Journal of Asthma, 52(7), 699-706. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2014.1001905

Sidora-Arcoleo, K., Feldman, J. M., Serebrisky, D., & Spray, A. (2012). A multi-factorial model for examining racial and ethnic disparities in acute asthma visits by children. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 43, 1, 15-28. doi: 10.1007/s12160-011-9328-3  Read full article PMCID: PMC3532905

Sidora-Arcoleo, K., Feldman, J., Serebrisky, D., & Spray, A. (2010). Validation of the Asthma Illness Representation Scale (AIRS©). Journal of Asthma, 47, 33-40.

Sidora-Arcoleo, K. J., Feldman, J. Serebrisky, D., & Spray, A. (2010). Validation of the Asthma Illness Representation Scale-Spanish (AIRS-S©). Journal of Asthma, 47, 417–421. doi: 10.3109/02770901003702832.  Read full article PMCID: PMC2928649

Related articles:

Vargas, P. A., Robles, E., Harris, J., & Radford, P. (2010). Using information technology to reduce asthma disparities in underserved populations: A pilot study. Journal of Asthma, 47, 889-894. doi: 10.3109/02770903.2010.497887.  Read full article PMCID: PMC3007599