Title of ArticleLearning through play: using evidence to improve child asthma care
Type of ArticleCritical Reflection on Practice Development
Author/sHeather Henry
ReferenceVolume 9, Issue 2, Article 10
Date of PublicationNovember 2019
KeywordsAsset-based, asthma, concordance, health literacy, play, storytelling

Background: Poor control and concordance with treatment in children’s asthma remain a priority, despite advances in treatment. Play and storytelling are often neglected as ways of improving health literacy in children with asthma and their families.

Aims: The author, a nurse entrepreneur, tests the idea of seeing citizens and communities as assets, who can cascade asthma knowledge in fun ways, to complement the dominant service-led and needs-focused paradigms. This reflection explores the evidence base for how children learn through play and how it accords with her own nursing instinct.

Conclusion: Children, their families and communities can learn, recall and share asthma knowledge learned through play. Storytelling can foster co-operative behaviours and encourage children to take responsibility. Asthma in children is often an emotive subject, drawing citizens and organisations towards health professionals to offer themselves as assets: people with skills and strengths to share.

Implications for practice:

  • The incorporation of play-based asthma education in the community is intuitive but would represent a cultural change that could be challenging. Simple approaches, such as telling a well-known fairytale, appear more acceptable than more complex approaches such as incorporating play into group consultations or ‘asthma parties’
  • Sole nurse entrepreneurs can face challenges in securing funding to test innovations that lack impact measures: a ‘Catch 22’ situation

This article by Heather Henry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 3.0 License.

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