Piloting co-developed behaviour change interventions to reduce exposure to air pollution and improve self-reported asthma-related health

McCarron, Amy; Semple, Sean; Swanson, Vivien; Gillespie, Colin; Braban, Christine ORCID:; Price, Heather D.. 2024 Piloting co-developed behaviour change interventions to reduce exposure to air pollution and improve self-reported asthma-related health. Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology. 12, pp.

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•Background: Exposure to air pollution can exacerbate asthma with immediate and long-term health consequences. Behaviour changes can reduce exposure to air pollution, yet its ‘invisible’ nature often leaves individuals unaware of their exposure, complicating the identification of appropriate behaviour modifications. Moreover, making health behaviour changes can be challenging, necessitating additional support from healthcare professionals. •Objective: This pilot study used personal exposure monitoring, data feedback, and co-developed behaviour change interventions with individuals with asthma, with the goal of reducing personal exposure to PM2.5 and subsequently improving asthma-related health. •Methods: Twenty-eight participants conducted baseline exposure monitoring for one-week, simultaneously keeping asthma symptom and medication diaries (previously published in McCarron et al., 2023). Participants were then randomised into control (n = 8) or intervention (n = 9) groups. Intervention participants received PM2.5 exposure feedback and worked with researchers to co-develop behaviour change interventions based on a health behaviour change programme which they implemented during the follow-up monitoring week. Control group participants received no feedback or intervention during the study. •Results: All interventions focused on the home environment. Intervention group participants reduced their at-home exposure by an average of 5.7 µg/m³ over the monitoring week (−23.0 to +3.2 µg/m³), whereas the control group had a reduction of 4.7 µg/m³ (−15.6 to +0.4 µg/m³). Furthermore, intervention group participants experienced a 4.6% decrease in participant-hours with reported asthma symptoms, while the control group saw a 0.5% increase. Similarly, the intervention group’s asthma-related quality of life improved compared to the control group. •Impact statement: This pilot study investigated a novel behaviour change intervention, utilising personal exposure monitoring, data feedback, and co-developed interventions guided by a health behaviour change programme. The study aimed to reduce personal exposure to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and improve self-reported asthma-related health. Conducting a randomised controlled trial with 28 participants, co-developed intervention successfully targeted exposure peaks within participants’ home microenvironments, resulting in a reduction in at-home personal exposure to PM2.5 and improving self-reported asthma-related health. The study contributes valuable insights into the environmental exposure-health relationship and highlights the potential of the intervention for individual-level decision-making to protect human health.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 1559-0631
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: personal exposure, particulate matter, health studies
NORA Subject Terms: Health
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 15 Apr 2024 13:28 +0 (UTC)

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