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Wayne State University receives BCBSM Foundation grant to explore end user recommendations for the development of an asthma transition readiness mobile application for African American youth

February 18, 2014

DETROIT (February 18, 2014) — Wayne State University recently received a $69,721 grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to explore end user recommendations for the development of an asthma transition readiness mobile application for African American youth. The project, “Exploring End Users’ Recommendations for the Development of an Asthma Transition Readiness Mobile Application,” is led by Wanda Gibson-Scipio, professor of nursing, who aims to help youth gain disease self-management and self-advocacy skills as they transition from pediatric to adult care.

“Although planning for health care transitions should be a part of routine care, it only occurs approximately 30 percent of the time in general; this number is further reduced among ethnic minorities,” said Gibson-Scipio. “Neglect to this important aspect of care is associated with the decline in primary care visits during adolescence and emerging adulthood (18 to 29 years) and the increase in use of emergency departments as a primary source of health care.” 

Urban African American youth are known to experience a greater prevalence of asthma, symptoms, emergency department visits and hospitalizations than Caucasian youth across their lifespan. These risk factors, in addition to the lack of transition planning, contribute to a health disparity gap among African American youth toward achieving quality asthma health outcomes.

Through this 12-month research project, Gibson-Scipio and her research team will discover how mobile technology might help to address the gap in care related to transition planning in an effort to support this vulnerable population.

Gibson-Scipio and her research team will use qualitative methods employing focus groups and interviews to determine the best features to include in the application. Participants will be drawn from the metro Detroit area. Gibson-Scipio notes “this study will be one of the first to address health care transitions among youth with asthma using technology that is accessible and commonly used by the study population.”

Co-investigators from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine include Karen MacDonell, Ph.D., assistant professor, Pediatric Prevention Research Office in the College of Nursing and Claire Pearson, M.D., assistant professor of Emergency Medicine, Division of Clinical Research. Consultants include Karen Kavanaugh, Ph.D., Elizabeth Schotanus Professor of Pediatric Nursing, interim associate dean for research and Weisong Shi, Ph.D., professor of Computer Science, in Wayne State’s College of Engineering and program director for the Computer Systems Research Program, Division of Computer and Networked Systems in the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation funds $2.75 million a year in research and community programs to improve health care in Michigan.

Wanda Gibson-Scipio, Ph.D., A.P.R.N., B.C., is assistant professor-clinical at the Wayne State University College of Nursing.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering more than 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 28,000 students.

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