Originally developed by a group of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the American Lung Association adopted Breathe Well, Live Well to help adults better manage their asthma. By following the guidance in this resource, adults with asthma can be active and healthy.

Major Characteristics of Breathe Well, Live Well

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

The program includes sections devoted to:

  • Understanding your asthma
  • Building your asthma support team
  • Taking asthma medications
  • Using tools for daily self-management
  • Following good health habits

The Story Behind Breathe Well Live Well

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 Lung Association 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 designed for small group education and 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. Results from the pilot showed that the program was 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.

Breathe Well, Live Well was redesigned in June 2013 resulting in a self-paced guide, Breathe Well Live Well: The Guide to Managing Your Asthma at Home and Work.  The guide is the only comprehensive asthma education targeting adults and is designed to help them gain the skills and tools they need to take control of their asthma.

Awards & Recognition

  • Breathe Well, Live Well received a Silver Award for Patient Education from the National Health Information Awards in 2007.
  • Breathe Well Live Well: The Guide to Managing Your Asthma at Home and Work won Best of Show at the National Health Information Awards competition in 2014.
  • Breathe Well Live Well: The Guide to Managing Your Asthma at Home and Work won Gold Award at the National Health Information Awards competition in 2014.

Offer Bring Breathe Well, Live Well to Employees

The Breathe Well, Live Well self-help guide can be combined with the American Lung Association's Asthma Basics online education program to help employers address one of the most common and costly of all health problems. Many potential causes of lung disease can be found in the workplace, but with the proper measures can be easily controlled, creating safer and healthier working conditions for all employees. Visit our Guide to Safe & Healthy Workplaces to see how employers and workplace wellness providers can help employees with asthma and their families better manage their lung disease. 

Learn more about our program materials or how to bring Breathe Well, Live Well to your community.

Page last updated: March 9, 2020

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