WHAT ARE WE LEARNING?
Everyone experiences asthma differently. Different things work for people in managing their asthma and there are challenges, highs and lows. Quality of life and personal journeys are important issues to people navigating life with breathing issues. People look for information across a range of places in the community and health system and they learn about asthma from family, friends, colleagues and a range of health professionals other than their doctor.
WHAT WE FOUND
People value being able to tell their stories in different ways, so when we engage with communities being person-centred is paramount. Our survey has been designed with the input of consumers, and for most is the perfect way to have their say on important topics. For others, being able to send an open-ended email is an opportunity to explain things at length without restriction. Where digital platforms are a problem, the option of reply-paid postcards is a useful way to communicate. The dedicated telephone number has also been a great way to have conversations where people aren’t comfortable writing or emailing. The community focus groups are designed to be a closer conversation in communities where we think there is good potential for real change in the future.
OUR NEXT STEPS
The project findings will be used to inform stakeholders across the health system, to design new asthma support programs across Tasmania. Specifically, we will ask the community whether our concept of an Asthma Community Connector in an Asthma Smart Community, which we have delivered in South Australia is right for Tasmania.
WHAT ARE WE DOING/HOW ARE WE LEARNING IT?
We want to go further than the obvious prevalence and associated data about asthma in Tasmania and build a more detailed and consumer-based picture of local community responses to asthma management.
The four aims of the project are to:
- Understand the community experience of asthma in Tasmania
- Determine the current gaps and identify problems, challenges and potential solutions
- Gather insights into the wants and needs of Tasmanians and the problems we need to solve in partnership with the community
- Define which population(s) may be ready for a specific project like Mid-North to be delivered in their community
The four project components are:
- Desktop research – collating available data and information across all sources
- Consumer survey – statewide online, print and telephone
- Stakeholder interviews – 10 professional organisations who deal with asthma and health
- Focus groups – three locations each representing a different segment of Tasmanians
This project is being delivered by Healthy Tasmania Pty Ltd and is supported by funding from Primary Health Tasmania (Tasmania PHN) through the Australian Government’s Primary Health Networks Program. It was developed from learnings and ideas explored in Asthma Australia’s work in South Australia, which is funded by the Country SA Primary Health Network.