School-based asthma care

System Design | Community-based research | Visual Design



University of Rochester Medical Center


Research, recuitment, lead designer

Asthma affects almost 8 million children in the U.S., causing recurrent symptoms, missed school days, missed workdays for parents, and substantial stress in daily family life. Hospitalization rates for children with asthma are high and continue to increase.

To tackle this issue, I worked with a team of researchers, physicians, psychologists, school nurses, teens, and their caregivers to test sustainable models of school-based care at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Our goal was to evaluate and test school-based care methods to increase symptom-free days for children with asthma. 

Through this research, we aimed to provide a more effective approach to asthma care that could reduce the frequency of symptoms and improve quality of life for children with asthma and their families. By conducting this study, we hope to contribute to the development of more accessible and sustainable school-based care models for children with asthma across the U.S.



Working with participant in home-based interview

Reseach overview

Research role

For the study, we recruited more than 430 adolescents between the ages of 11 and 16 who were diagnosed with mild to persistent asthma and their caregivers through various methods such as phone calls, schools, and doctors' offices.

After obtaining their consent, we conducted in-depth interviews both at home and school to gain insights into their health, current methods of care, environmental factors, and lifestyles of the children with asthma. Our team believed that conducting home visits helped us build trust with our participants, giving us an accurate view of medication use and the barriers impacting asthma health.

To ensure our research was conducted appropriately, I underwent rigorous training in the IRB CITI program, asthma medical device usage, field research best practices with low-income and vulnerable populations, Narcan administration, and environmental hazard safety.

In addition to the field research, I also led focus groups with the participants to collect supplementary qualitative data and understand their overall satisfaction with the study.

Participant journey map


Participant journey

The study involved participants for a year, and each one was randomly assigned to one of three groups to receive a specific type of care. At the end of the study, the impact of the year-long care approach would be evaluated for all participants.

Research findings

 The SB-ACT intervention was effective in reducing asthma symptoms and improving quality of life for adolescents with asthma. Overall, the SB-ACT study provides evidence that school-based care models can be effective in improving asthma outcomes for adolescents. 

  • The intervention led to a significant increase in symptom-free days and a decrease in missed school days due to asthma.
  • The intervention improved asthma management skills and self-efficacy for asthma management among adolescents.
  • The intervention was well-received by participants, caregivers, and healthcare providers.
  • The intervention shows that school-based care models can improve asthma outcomes for adolescents. It emphasizes the need for education, self-monitoring tools, and care coordination to help adolescents manage their asthma better and reduce the impact of this chronic condition on their daily lives.

Design overview


To support our research efforts, I designed symptom tracking tools and outreach materials to aid in recruitment and education. My goal throughout the design process was to make the asthma care language approachable and the visuals inclusive, youth-friendly, and vibrant.

Our team recognized the importance of creating materials that would be accessible and engaging for both children with asthma and their caregivers. By using a colorful visuals and inviting language, we aimed to encourage participation and promote a positive attitude towards asthma management.

The symptom tracking tools were created with youth-friendliness in mind and to simplify the process of monitoring asthma symptoms. The outreach materials were carefully crafted to highlight the benefits of our research and to encourage participation in the study.

I believe that designing engaging and accessible materials was essential to the success of our research, as it ensures that participants understand the importance of their involvement in the study and remain committed to the research process.


Symptom tracking goals

Tracking symptoms is as important aspect for childhood asthma management because faciliates better communication between the patient, their caregiver, and their healthcare provider. The tracking information captured was can be used to develop a personalized care plans for the children to manage their asthma.

We based the framework for tracking asthma off the American Lung Association guidance for asthma severity which is based on a 3 point scale-- mild, moderate and severe. 

I developed an inital protoype concept for an asthma symptom tracking app which is below. Theses screens are simply a starting point towards turning a physical tool into  a mobile based experience. 


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