To determine the impact of a peer-led education program, developed in Australia, on health-related outcomes in high school students with asthma in Jordan.
In this cluster-randomized controlled trial, 4 high schools in Irbid, Jordan, were randomly assigned to receive the Adolescent Asthma Action program or standard practice. Bilingual health workers trained 24 peer leaders from Year 11 to deliver asthma education to younger peers from Year 10 (n = 92), who in turn presented brief asthma skits to students in Years 8 and 9 (n = 148) and to other members of the school community in the intervention schools. Students with asthma (N = 261) in Years 8, 9, and 10 completed baseline surveys in December 2006 and 3 months after the intervention.
Students from the intervention group reported clinically significant improvements in health-related quality of life (mean difference: 1.35 [95% confidence interval: 1.04–1.76]), self-efficacy to resist smoking (mean difference: 4.63 [95% confidence interval: 2.93–6.35]), and knowledge of asthma self- management (mean difference: 1.62 [95% confidence interval: 1.15–2.19]) compared with the control group.
This trial demonstrated that the Adolescent Asthma Action program can be readily adapted to suit different cultures and contexts. Adolescents in Jordan were successful in teaching their peers about asthma self-management and motivating them to avoid smoking. The findings revealed that peer education can be a useful strategy for health promotion programs in Jordanian schools when students are given the opportunity and training.