The Women Breathe Free program and the PRIDE problem solving process were developed based upon elements of Social Cognitive Theory, on principles of self-regulation in particular.
Research has shown that women managing chronic conditions can internalize and apply the self-regulation process in an effort to change their disease management behavior; further, it has been shown that programs based on these principles have a positive effect on their overall health.
The Women Breathe Free program introduces participants to a self-regulatory problem solving process, PRIDE, that is designed to increase their ability to engage more effectively in asthma management. Preliminary studies have shown that the problem solving process based upon self-regulation theory appears to be a useful and effective approach to enhancing self-management skills in adults coping with chronic disease.
Steps of the PRIDE process are carried out within the context of a therapeutic plan, in partnership with the women’s clinicians, and are designed to enhance the patient-clinician relationship in asthma management.
Participants begin the Women Breathe Free program by reviewing components of the established asthma management recommendations the physician has provided, e.g., use of medications, physical activity guidelines, and avoidance of triggers. Following this, the participant moves into the initial phase of the problem solving process, each of which reflect the salient processes of self-regulation:
- Problem identification: Identifying a problem in asthma management.
- Research & observation: Observing oneself, one’s environment, and one’s pattern of symptoms to understand the elements of the problem and the way it might be ameliorated.
- Identify a goal: Setting an asthma management goal.
- Developing a plan or strategy to achieve the goal.
- Establishing appropriate rewards for one’s success.
Salient gender-related management problems are addressed throughout the five step self-regulatory process. Participants are asked to identify and focus on potential gender-related factors contributing to their asthma, including hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menstruation, menopause, and the use of oral contraceptives. Encouraging women to focus on gender-related asthma management issues as well as examining one aspect of their asthma management through PRIDE may help facilitate the application of these processes to other dimensions of asthma control.