Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Asthma management is a public health issue that is complex. Medication, asthma triggers, age, and the environment are all factors that impact asthma management. There is a gap in research in terms of what lifestyle characteristics need to be in place in order for adults to manage asthma. Shaw found that posture care is a lifestyle variable that should be explored as it relates to asthma management in older adults. The Life University Clinic (Marietta, GA) sees asthmatic patients daily and teaches them about a posture care routine through a program called Straighten Up. Based on the health belief model, this study explored how the Straighten Up routine exercises impacted asthma management in adult asthmatic patients with severe asthma (n =304 ). Ordinal regression and logistic regression was used to analyze the relationships between using the Straighten Up posture exercises (independent variable) for 3 months with 3 dependent variables: patients' sleep patterns (night time awakenings due to asthma), use of quick relief medication, and hospitalizations (ER Visits) due to asthma. Straighten Up posture exercises reduced night time sleep interruptions, but not hospitalizations due to asthma or the use of quick relief medications. For persons with asthma, Straighten Up could be an additional tool to manage their asthma and reduce the known impacts of sleep deprivation including accidents, memory loss, and heart disease. For organizations who serve asthmatics, Straighten Up could be an additional resource to share with the population they serve. As a result of this study, Straighten Up exercises are recommended for adult asthmatics with severe asthma as part of their asthma management plan.