About Breathe Well, Live Well

Breathe Well, Live Well is an American Lung Association program for adults who want to learn to take control of their asthma and feel better. It is the only program available nationwide that has shown to result in less severe asthma, fewer respiratory problems, and a better ability to stick to treatment plans.

Originally developed by a group of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, it has been adopted by the American Lung Association – an organization with a long history in the fight against lung disease. By following an asthma management plan, most people with asthma can live a healthy active life.

The adult asthma program consists of three modules:

  1. Orientation: Before the workshop, you’ll get a brief phone call to tell you about the program and what to bring to the first meeting.
  2. Asthma Workshop Module: You learn how to manage your asthma and you will take part in group discussions and practice new skills.
  3. Follow-up and Reinforcement Module: A brief phone call to make sure that what you learned is working.

Major Characteristics of Breathe Well, Live Well

Breathe Well, Live Well will help you control your asthma so your asthma no longer controls you.

  • We won’t waste your time. We will give you only the information you really need to know.
  • You, your healthcare providers, and your prescribed medicines all have a part in keeping your asthma under control.
  • By being a partner with your healthcare provider, you’ll gain the most benefit from your office visits and your medicines.

The program will teach you how to manage your asthma and reduce your chances of having asthma get out of control. In fact, participating in this program is one of the best things that you can do for your asthma. This program covers what everyone with asthma needs to know.

What You Will Get From Breathe Well, Live Well

There are six major steps for asthma self-management. Each one is a lesson in the workbook that your American Lung Association- trained Facilitator will guide you through during the workshop.

  1. Understanding asthma and how it affects breathing
  2. Getting help from your healthcare providers
  3. Learning about asthma-control medicines
  4. Learning how asthma relates to other health conditions
  5. Finding your asthma triggers, tracking your symptoms, and making an asthma action plan
  6. Forming good health habits

The Story Behind Breathe Well, Live Well

Adults having difficulty managing their asthma can impact their community in a number of ways, from lost productivity in the workplace to increased health care costs to premature death.

  • 4,605 people visit the emergency room each day due to asthma
  • 8,512 people with asthma are discharged from the hospital each week
  • 11 people die from asthma every day

Given these statistics, it is evident asthma remains a health problem of staggering proportions. As a result, the American Lung Association with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health developed Breathe Well, Live Well: An Asthma Management Program for Adults.

Brief History
In 2003, the American Lung Association with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center Environmental Health, adopted a validated asthma management education program for adults. The validated program was originally developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Lung Health Center. Results from the clinic-based intervention showed that a comprehensive effort to improve self-management practices of adults with asthma can substantially improve adherence to treatment regimens and, as a result, can improve functional status. Two significant measures of functional status that showed improvements were decrease in severity of asthma symptoms and a decrease in the incidence of respiratory problems.

In 2004, the ALA adapted the program for use in a community-based setting and named it Breathe Well, Live Well: An Asthma Management Program for Adults. The program was pilot tested in six areas: Tucson, Arizona; the District of Columbia; Jacksonville, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; San Diego and San Francisco, California. During the pilot, we assessed the process and feasibility of conducting the program in a community-based setting.

Based on the data collected during the pilot site evaluation, the program proved to be effective in increasing knowledge, confidence in managing asthma, and increased the frequency of asthma self-management practices. In addition, the program was well-received among participants and facilitators.

Breathe Well, Live Well launched nationwide in January of 2007. The program is available in many locations across the country.