The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2003 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

HOW MUCH EDUCATION DO COACHES RECEIVE ABOUT ASTHMA IN ATHLETES: A TEXTBOOK ANALYSIS

Karen Diles, BS, RRT, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Texarkana, Arkansas and D. Patrick Evans, M Ed, RRT, RN, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Texarkana, Arkansas.

 

BACKGROUND. Asthma is a serious medical condition that affects 3.8 million children in the United States. As the number of children with asthma continues to increase, the number of school-age athletes with asthma will also increase. A survey of educational programs preparing coaches was performed. One objective of our study was to assess the asthma content in the textbooks used throughout the state of Arkansas to educate students pursing a coaching certificate.

METHOD.
Universities in the state of Arkansas offering degrees or certification in coaching were identified and program chairmen were surveyed. A list of textbooks used to teach pre-service coaches about asthma was compiled and each textbook was reviewed and analyzed for asthma content.

Table1. Analysis of Textbooks Containing Asthma Information

Textbook Describe Pathophysiology of Asthma Describe Symptoms of Asthma Attack Recommend Plan of Action Recommend Use of Peak Flowmeter List Common Respiratory Medications Refer to NIH or NAEPP Guidelines
1 Yes Yes Yes NO NO NO
2 Yes Yes NO NO NO NO
3 Yes Yes NO NO Yes NO
4 Yes Yes NO NO NO NO
5 Yes Yes Yes NO Yes NO
6 Yes Yes Yes NO NO NO
7 Yes NO NO NO Yes NO
8 Yes Yes NO NO Yes NO
9 Yes Yes Yes NO Yes NO


RESULTS. Twelve universities (85.7%) responded to the survey. Fourteen textbooks were identified as key textbooks that the instructors of coaching programs use to teach content specific to the management of an asthmatic athlete. Five (36%) of these textbooks contained no information about asthma. The remaining nine textbooks (64%) were analyzed as to the quality of information that the authors present regarding asthma. The content was reviewed and analyzed according to the information listed in Table 1. Of the nine textbooks reviewed, all (100%) described the pathophysiology of asthma. Eight (88%) of the textbooks reviewed described symptoms of an asthma attack. Four (44%) textbooks described a plan of action to take if a student were experiencing an asthma attack. None of the textbooks reviewed recommended the use and monitoring of asthmatic athletes with a peak expiratory flowmeter. Five (55%) of the textbooks listed common respiratory medications. The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program and the National Institute of Health's asthma guidelines have been proven to be of benefit for the treatment and management of asthma. None of the textbooks reviewed recommended or suggested their use. CONCLUSION. Though the textbook sample size was limited, our data suggests that a serious lack of education regarding asthma exists in the universities training coaches in the state of Arkansas. Before another asthmatic child dies during a sports event, coaches should be prepared. The site of an athlete collapsing during a sporting event could be very overwhelming for a coach, especially one who is not sufficiently trained in the recognition and treatment of asthma.

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