Journal of Community Health

, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 463–470 | Cite as

The Impact of Student-Directed Videos on Community Asthma Knowledge

  • Ruchi S. Gupta
  • Claudia H. Lau
  • Christopher M. Warren
  • Alexandra Lelchuk
  • Amber Alencar
  • Elizabeth E. Springston
  • Jane L. Holl
Original Paper


The Student Asthma Research Team (START) program was designed to enable students to explore socio-ecological factors contributing to asthma through the use of Photovoice, a technique that gathers both photographs and personal experiences from participants. The photographs taken by and commentary from student participants were integrated into public service announcements (PSAs) intended to increase community asthma awareness and catalyze behavior change. This article evaluates the effectiveness of these student-directed PSAs at improving asthma awareness among peers and community members. Pre-PSA, immediate post-PSA, and 4 month post-PSA follow-up assessments were conducted to evaluate changes in community members’ asthma knowledge and behavior. The student-directed PSAs were found to significantly increase asthma knowledge among community members, irrespective of age, gender, or race. Increased knowledge persisted through the 4-month post-PSA follow-up. Of the thirty-six participants who were successfully contacted for the follow-up survey, nearly 40 % reported meaningful behavior-change in response to the PSAs. Photovoice and media production techniques were effective in engaging adolescent students—an under-served and often disenfranchised population—in asthma health education through the development and dissemination of PSAs. The extension of participatory techniques such as Photovoice to include the creation of student-directed PSAs holds promise for engaging adolescents in public health initiatives within their communities.


Asthma Adolescents Photovoice Public service announcements 



We thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their support of this research.

Supplementary material

10900_2012_9630_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (22 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 21 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruchi S. Gupta
    • 1
    • 2
  • Claudia H. Lau
    • 1
  • Christopher M. Warren
    • 2
  • Alexandra Lelchuk
    • 3
  • Amber Alencar
    • 2
    • 4
  • Elizabeth E. Springston
    • 2
  • Jane L. Holl
    • 2
  1. 1.Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA
  3. 3.University of Illinois Chicago’s School of Public HealthChicagoUSA
  4. 4.West Suburban Medical CenterOak ParkUSA

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