Project HealthDesign: BreathEasy - A Personal Health Record Application For Adults With Asthma, 2011-2012 (ICPSR 36027)

Principal Investigator(s): Flatley Brennan, Patricia, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Massoudi, Barbara Leah, Research Triangle Institute; Rothemich, Stephen F., Virginia Commonwealth University. Department of Family Medicine


Asthma is a chronic illness that affects more than 23 million adults in the United States. In addition to respiratory symptoms associated with the disease, individuals with asthma are also more likely to experience depression and anxiety. The BreathEasy team designed a mobile application built on the latest clinical guidelines for treatment and self-monitoring for patients with asthma. Patients with asthma used the application on smartphones to capture and report observations of daily living (ODLs) such as use of controller and rescue medications, asthma symptoms (including peak flow rates), depression and anxiety symptoms, encounters with asthma triggers, physical activity levels (including accelerometer based data), sleeping problems, and smoking. Clinicians used a web based dashboard with simple analysis and visualization tools that allowed them to quickly view the patients' data, evaluate their health statuses, and communicate changes in treatment or monitoring. This data collection contains the ODL data recorded by the patients.

Series: Project HealthDesign Series

Access Notes

  • One or more files in this data collection have special restrictions ; consult the restrictions note to learn more. You can apply online for access to the restricted-use data. A login is required to apply.

    The data are restricted from general dissemination for reasons of confidentiality. Users interested in obtaining the data must complete an Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data, specify the reasons for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research. Apply for access to the data through the ICPSR restricted data contract portal which can be accessed via the study home page.

    Any public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.


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Study Description


Flatley Brennan, Patricia, Barbara Leah Massoudi, and Stephen F. Rothemich. Project HealthDesign: BreathEasy - A Personal Health Record Application For Adults With Asthma, 2011-2012. ICPSR36027-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-05-29.

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This study was funded by:

  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (67162)
  • National Science Foundation (IIS-1343969)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    activities of daily living, asthma, depression (psychology), health care, patient care

Geographic Coverage:    Richmond, Virginia

Time Period:   

  • 2011--2012

Date of Collection:   

  • 2011--2012

Universe:    The project targeted persons with Asthma.

Data Type(s):    medical records, observational data

Data Collection Notes:

BreathEasy was a project of Project HealthDesign, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation designed to stimulate innovation in the development of person health records systems. Additional information about BreathEasy is available on the Project HealthDesign Web site.

Additional support for data cleaning and depositing the data with ICPSR came from the Smart Asthma Management program funded by the National Science Foundation.


Sample:    A convenience sample of 30 patients with moderate to severe asthma was recruited at two primary care practices within the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System's Nelson Clinic and Hayes E. Willis Health Center. The 30 patients were predominantly black women. Each was given a smartphone and six months/phone data service. The patients entered ODL data at the time of day of their choice.

Extent of Processing:   ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Created variable labels and/or value labels.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-05-29


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