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Children’s picture books & digital resource for asthma education

This is a series of children's visual resources and interactive app/website to support them. The intended goal is to educate CYP and families in asthma, supporting learning and self-management.

Read comments 6
  • Proposal
  • 2022

Meet the team

What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to the theme?

Working as a clinical nurse specialist, I have noticed throughout my specialist role that there is a real gap in teaching resources that are not affiliated with pharmacological companies or child friendly.

I am currently in the final stages of publishing a children’s picture book for families dealing with parental terminal prognosis. Whilst this has been an entirely personal journey following the death of a close friend, I realised that I could apply my new found skills to my day job and create the resources I crave.

I have the manuscript and a basic storyboard for a rhyming children’s picture book around peak flow already. I have ideas for further stories around inhaler technique, ICS action and asthma itself based around analogies I use in consultation.

I would like to back these tactile resources with an App which can support learning and encourage self-management, for example, logging peak flow readings.

What does your project aim to achieve?

My project aims to bring age-appropriate and evidence-based resources to the huge population (11% in the UK) of children with asthma. I hope that it would be a resource that can be used by clinicians but also taken home or purchased by parents/carers for their own use and to learn about asthma together.

Currently there are minimal resources for CYP and families living with asthma, and those that are available are often affiliated with drug companies, or very clinical with little creative content. I would like to create anatomically and clinically evidence-based but creative and child-friendly books which can be supported with digital technology.

The overall aim would be to bring the learning home- these stories could be purchased by a parent wishing to learn more with their child, or be given on discharge or during a clinic along with the resources (eg a peak flow meter). The app would support.

How will the project be delivered?

Information gathering
I have a pool of  clinicians, children and families with asthma and wheeze to tap into, in terms of market research and needs/gap analysis.

Resource Development

I already have the manuscript and the means to create the illustrations / format the book digitally. What I need to bring this to life is funding, the ability to gather information and collect feedback legitimately within an organisation.

Digital media

The aim for this is to support the tactile resources, with some interactivity around self-management. I would need to engage support for the digital aspect of this project.

I would like to see how we can stop using so many paper resources and “go digital”


I would consider the project successful if it educates CYP/families on the topics, for example, using peak flow effectively, understanding asthma or improved inhaler technique. I plan to measure pre and post understanding, with gifted copies.

How is your project going to share learning?

  • Gauging what CYP need from tactile to digital. We often assume their desire focuses on high-tech, social media based resource but this often isn’t what is craved.
  • Engaging digital technology with both digital and manual devices/resources for asthma
  • Measuring the impact for supporting self-management and education in one of the most common childhood long-term condition could be applicable to many others.
  • Collecting qualitative data on the use and impact of resources could establish whether it is a tool that could help reduce health inequalities in a condition with so many preventable deaths even in 2022. The tactile resources function alone and digital support so that families with limited access to digital media can still benefit
  • Sharing learning around the process may help other unlikely project managers (ie.on-the-ground clinicians like myself)
  • I have had interest & expressions of support from Asthma+Lung UK and others who may be able to support/share the findings

How you can contribute

  • Digital media design
  • App development / platform development
  • Data collection structure
  • Analysis of data
  • Tools for gauging health inequality status(?)
  • Tools for measuring learning (pre and post feedback?)
  • Advice around budgeting - ongoing cost versus initial cost.

Plan timeline

29 Apr 2022 Contact CYP families / clinicians to provide feedback
3 Jun 2022 Complete illustrations (paper based)
10 Jun 2022 Digitalise illustrations
1 Jul 2022 Create digital proof
8 Jul 2022 ISPN, barcode, library registration process
5 Aug 2022 Supporting materials (eg diaries) ready - pre week 38
18 Aug 2022 Physical copies of book 1 ready for distribution
1 Sep 2022 Website / app development
1 Dec 2022 Digital interface live and running, feedback deadline


  1. Laura - you are clealry really passionate about this - it shone through in your proposal.

    I suspect it woudl be helfpul to consdier what 'success' looks like - is it children and families know why adn how to use inhalers properly?  This feels more realistic - lookng at outcomes in terms of mangement would have too many confounding factors and be beyond scope of a sole individual working on this.

    One of the challenges (as a paedaitricain) is knowing what is out there for families.  Linking with some of the big organisaitons asthma uk or even 'itchy sneezy wheezy' which has great edcuational resources will hep your idea fly.

    1. Guest

      Hi Kate- thank you for your comment. I totally agree (but am new to this so a little stumped in terms of "success" measurement) - I am really passionate about this and am also a huge fan of Itchy,Sneezy,Wheezy.

      As below, Asthma+Lung (formerly asthma UK) have been in touch which was unexpected and really promising so I'll wait and see what that brings. I had thought to use the networks I am already in (eg National Paediatric Respiratory & Allergy Nurses' Group, my own in NEL, pan-london CNS group and other asthma networks) to my advantage.

      I've only been an asthma specialist for 6 years or so but having seen/used some of the resources out there it appears to be a huge gap. Or maybe I'm just still channeling jealousy of the diabetes teaching cupboard....!!!

      I know a lot of us CNS' (and certainly those of us in the NPRANG educational sub-committee) really dislike using resources that are aligned with medication/brands/pharma and it doesn't align with most Trusts' views on promotional materials anyway.

      (PS. I trained & started my nursing career in Southampton - PAU / ED - thought I recognised your name!) 

  2. Hi Laura, I work for Asthma + Lung UK as part of our Research and Innovation team, and would be more than happy to have a chat about whether we can support? Let me know if that would be helpful.

    1. That would be fantastic! Please email me on and perhaps we can discuss?

  3. Hello Laura,

    Thank you for sharing the idea. I admire your passion for this. I can see huge potential for an app-based approach alongside the books. I am wondering though how the digital element could be elevated whilst also learning a little more about how you would demonstrate impact. More about these aspects of  your work would definitely benefit your project.



    1. Thank you - I have just returned from maternity leave so need to get this finished pronto!

      Yes- I have a real passion for "lay" resources as such- but that are anatomically correct and utilise the analogies we use so often in consultation (eg peak flow being a speed, inflammation like a forest fire etc.)


      I really appreciate your feedback (more so considering I feel it is a bit of a "wild card" idea...!)

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