The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2007 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

A KIWANIS SPONSORED PILOT ASTHMA SCREENING PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN IN CLEVELAND

R. C. Cohn1, S. Kumar1, T. McLeary2, M. Lough2, T. Kallstrom3

Background: To evaluate the presence of asthma risk in elementary school students in a particular neighborhood, we conducted a systematic screening of children in private parochial and charter schools in Cleveland, Ohio. This was an initiative of the Kiwanis of South East Cleveland (an area in which residents have a low economic status) to improve the health of children in their community and to determine the interest of expanding such a program throughout the state of Ohio or nationwide.

Methods: Five schools were selected for the initial trial. Validated questionaires (Ann Allergy, Asthma, Immunol 2004; 93: 36-48) were given to consenting parents and students. In addition, on the day of study mobile spirometry was performed by Registered or Certified RTs under the supervision of a credentialed Pulmonary Function Technologist. Results were tabulated by the medical advisor and a letter sent to the students, parents, and school nurse, advising them of general results and recommended followup. Medical followup (for free if necessary) was offered if the patient/family was unable to receive this on their own.

Results: 257 students in the 5 schools participated in the program. Using the scoring key defined by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), 59% of students were at risk for asthma by student and/or parent questionaires. In 12% of cases students defined answers to the screening questions placing them at risk for asthma, but the parents did not. In 13.5% of cases parents defined answers that the student did not. An abnormal spirometry was far less sensitive and did not correlate with the screening questionaires.

Conclusions: The prevalence of asthma in this sample is higher than the reported national average. For the most part parents and students agree on symptom reporting, although there were notable differences. A followup study is underway to determine how many of these children who had suggestive results saw a medical provider to explore the dx of asthma further.

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