The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

1998 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

COMPLIANCE WITH THE 1997 NATIONAL ASTHMA EDUCATION & PREVENTION PROGRAM (NAEPP) GUIDELINES AMONG MINORITY CHILDREN.

Lynda Thomas Goodfellow, MBA, RRT, Crystal L. Dunlevy, EdD, RRT, GA State University, Marie Schuster, BA, RN., Scottish Rite Medical Center, Atlanta, GA

Introduction: Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood, affecting nearly 5 million children. Hospitalization rates for asthma are the highest among blacks and children, and death rates are consistently highest among 15-24 year old blacks. The medical literature suggests low compliance with asthma therapy, infrequent use of peak flow monitoring (especially among minorities and those with low socioeconomic status), and inadequate knowledge levels concerning asthma. The purpose of the study was to assess compliance of urban minority children with the 1997 NAEPP guidelines. Materials & Methods: Subjects consisted of 22 minority children who participated in the "Air Zones Games", sponsored by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: Georgia Chapter; Scottish Rite Medical Center and Georgia State University, and held in Atlanta, GA. The games allowed students to participate in medically supervised athletic events. Subjects completed a 20-item questionnaire designed by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and a 17-item questionnaire designed by the investigators and based on the 1997 NAEPP guidelines. Subjects also demonstrated use of an MDI and/or peak flow meter. Technique was evaluated as either correct or incorrect. Descriptive data was compiled. Results: Mean age of subjects was 10.67%. Only one subject was fully compliant with the 1997 NAEPP guidelines. 64% report excess tension/stress because of their asthma. 68% do not own a peak flow meter. Of the remaining 32%, 43% do not use it. 28% were not currently being treated for their asthma. 64% avoid exercise sometimes due to cough and/or dyspnea. 57% occasionally cannot sleep through the night due to cough and/or dyspnea. 79% have more difficulty breathing in cold weather. 93% reported worsening of symptoms when exposed to cigarette smoke. 36% had one or more emergency room visits in the past year due to their asthma. 28% required hospitalization for their asthma within the past year. 43% report that breathing difficulties control them more than they would like. 40% live in households where at least one person smokes. Only 53% know what asthma medication to take for maintenance therapy; 86% know which to take during an attack. 79% do not use a spacer with their MDI. 91% demonstrated correct use of a peak flow meter. 93% demonstrated correct use of an MDI. 70% report that they can tell when an asthma attack is coming on. 77% have informed the school nurse that they have asthma; 64% have informed their physical education teacher. Discussion: This pilot data suggests that urban minority children do not demonstrate compliance with the 1997 NAEPP guidelines. They would likely benefit from an intervention program that provides education and follow-up monitoring.

The 44th International Respiratory Congress Abstracts-On-DiskĀ®, November 7 - 10, 1998, Atlanta, Georgia.

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