Asthma Australia




About the client

Asthma Australia seeks to assist children and their carers in engaging in their asthma care more proactively, keeping them out of hospital, living optimally and reducing their risk of death. To understand the hurdles to achieving this, Asthma Australia commissioned a deep dive into the perspective of children and their carers who live and deal with asthma and asthma events. The research aimed to validate and optimise the asthma journey map, and identify key pain points and barriers that interfere with optimal outcomes for young people with asthma.


Methodology, Approach, and Solution

We conducted qualitative research in the form of in-depth interviews with participants recruited from an external panel of Australian residents, who self-identified as having asthma from a range of health conditions. Children aged 5-14-years, and their carers, were interviewed in dyad pairs, in their homes or at the local library. Teenagers were interviewed online. Participants completed a series of online tasks prior to the interviews.

As a pre-curser to the qualitative research, we reviewed existing knowledge held by Asthma Australia through the lens of young people with asthma. This included reviewing previous qualitative and quantitative studies, academic papers and national reports commissioned by Asthma Australia and other asthma-related interest groups. In addition, we held a workshop with key stakeholders to understand existing internally held knowledge.



Our findings refined the asthma patient journey, from the perspective of young people with asthma, and identified core underlying features of the condition that create a landscape of misperception and complacency toward asthma.

We further identified a complex set of interacting factors that influence a child’s trajectory through this landscape, driving them towards optimal or poorer outcomes with their asthma.

We categorised these factors into six distinct sub-groups that play differing roles at various times through the journey of a young person with asthma, and create barriers to optimal behaviour and asthma management.

These factors, working with the customer journey, created a framework with a more detailed and nuanced understanding of patient mental models, that can be used to develop more appropriate messaging and interventions to increase the likelihood of creating behavioural change across the various stages of the asthma journey.


“Working with Zuni and Leap Insight has been a transformational journey for Asthma Australia and our end users. We have worked with Zuni and Leap Insights to gain deeper insights into the experiences of people with asthma and their carers, and understand more about the role played by the broader community, and healthcare professionals in supporting them. We’ve used a range of tools to help us with this robust knowledge – including our staff and their knowledge, existing research and program evaluations, quantitative surveys, UX research and deep ethnographic research. Zuni and Leap Insight have always approached our projects with a fit for purpose mindset – taking into consideration our context, resourcing and budget, and always go above and beyond to support us in delivering the work. Zuni have provided strategic backbone support to the Asthma Australia team on a digital transformation program and have been instrumental in leading the development of our Children & Young People strategy. The culmination of this work has led to a partnership with the Hunter Medical Research Institute and funding from the Medical Research Futures Fund to financially support the implementation of a Guided Asthma Self Support Service ensuring people can access personalised health information at scale – a potential game changer for asthma in Australia.”
Kathy Packenas
Director - Customer and Marketing