Educational interventions for new immigrants are usually developed without any input from the individuals involved. We examined how community based participatory research could act as a tool in the development of patient-related educational material to enhance the self-management of asthma within these communities. Concept development focus groups were used to uncover participants’ specific beliefs, issues, and concerns about asthma and its management. The analysis included systematically reading and reviewing the notes taken by the moderators, establishing categories of themes, and sorting responses into thematic categories. A total of 29 adult asthma patients of Latin American, Chinese, Iranian andPunjabi descent volunteered to participate in patient oriented group sessions. The purpose of these sessions was to gather input for the production of a series of asthma-related educational video clips and comprehensive pamphlets that were not only developed in a community’s specific language, but also reflected its cultural beliefs and practices. We found that focus group methodology is a useful strategy for developing culturally and content relevant educational interventions for members of new immigrant groups that are typically under represented in research about asthma and related issues in Canada. In an aim to fully understand the cultural and linguistic issues relevant to asthma patients from the target communities,we integrated and applied common concerns and barriers identified during the group discussions in the development of educational material.We uncovered elements that could be applied when broadening the narrow concepts of the health related educational interventions, including factors that are beyond the healthcare system’s original focus on the management of asthma in underserved communities. This allowed us to describe a range of research and extension activities suitable for participatory health education development that are both culturally and linguistically appropriate.
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