2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
THE HEALTH STATUS OF ASTHMATIC CHILDREN, BEFORE AND AFTER THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A SCHOOL-BASED ASTHMA EDUCATION PROGRAM IN AN ATLANTA CITY PUBLIC SCHOOL.
Teresa M. Iatridis,MS, RRT, Lynda Thomas Goodfellow, Ed.D., RRT, Barbara Browning, MS, RN,Georgia State University Atlanta, Sharon Williams, M.Ed., RN, MLK Middle School,Atlanta, GA.
Asthma is one of the most commonchronic illnesses among children. School-based asthma education programs havedemonstrated reductions in asthma-related physician, emergency room, and hospitalvisits. Additionally, school-based asthma education programs have demonstratedimprovements in asthma knowledge, asthma management skills, and medical treatmentcompliance. The purpose of this study was to obtain descriptive data to documentthe current health status and medical needs of the children participating ina school- based (Open Airways for Schools) program. This study investigatedthe following research questions, using descriptive research methodology: (1).What is the health status of asthmatic children, before and after the implementationof a school-based asthma education program, in an Atlanta City Public School,or is there a difference? (2). What percent of these asthmatic children arecompliant with the current National Asthma Education and Prevention Program(NAEPP) guidelines for asthma prevention and management? The descriptive surveyused in this study was created from four sources: (1). A review of the currentNAEPP guidelines, (2). A review of publications of school-based asthma educationprograms, (3). A review of relevant literature involving the utilization ofdescriptive surveys to evaluate health status in asthmatic children, and (4).A review of existing school health surveys. The survey instrument containedquestions addressing asthma history, asthma medications, recommended equipment,and asthma medical management/access. Prior to the initiation of a school-basedasthma education program, the school nurse identified potential participants,using school health forms. Potential participants consisted of children, ages8-11, with documented asthma on the school health form. A total of 16 childrenwere identified. The parent/legal guardian of each asthmatic child was contactedto obtain permission for participation and completion of the survey instrument.All 16 children returned consent forms and completed the educational program.Upon completion, parents/legal guardians received a follow-up survey instrument.The final sample (n = 9) included those who returned before and after surveyinstruments (56%). NAEPP guideline compliance was reported in three areas: a).assessment and monitoring, b). routine pharmacologic therapy, and c). patient/familyeducation and knowledge level. Sixty-seven percent reported possession of apeak flow meter. However, of those less than half reported peak flow meter dailyuse. Compliance was best (100%) for the use of a short acting Beta 2 Agonist.When considering asthma severity, none of the participants reported usage ofthe NAEPP guideline recommended medications. 89% knew the correct medicationsto administer for an acute asthma episode. 56% knew appropriate medicationsto administer for maintenance therapy. 33% reported having an asthma actionplan. The findings show that the previously documented positive effects, ofa school-based asthma education program, could not be duplicated within thisstudy. However, this study has proven to be one of the first to document thehealth status of asthmatic children, within the Atlanta City Public School System,and evaluate the effects of a school-based asthma education program. Therefore,the information obtained within this study was essential and warrants futurestudy.