The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2008 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

AN ASSESSMENT OF A PILOT ASTHMA EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR CHILDCARE PROVIDERS IN A HIGH PREVALANCE COUNTY

Suzanne Saville1Ruth Wetta-Hall2Suzanne Hawley2Craig Molgaard2Theresa St. Romain2Traci Hart2



Background: This study assessed changes in knowledge, attitudes, and intentions among childcare providers following a training program about asthma management. Do childcare providers play an important role in promoting improved air quality in their facilities, providing an additional opportunity to communicate asthma control strategies to parents and families? The current study suggests that educational programs can be effective in improving childcare providers' knowledge about asthma control strategies and in changing their attitudes toward asthma interventions in their facility, while high baseline intention to change may indicate willingness to implement knowledge and attitude improvement in daily management of asthma. The prevalence of asthma, the most common cause of childhood disability, has more than doubled from 3.6% to 7.5% between 1980 and 1995. In 2005, 13% of children under the age of 18 had been diagnosed with asthma at some point in their lives.

Methods:
A pilot educational intervention on asthma management was developed for childcare providers by healthcare education experts at The HealthSource at Kidsake. Three educational techniques were used in the training session: 1) a video describing asthma triggers and an asthma control plan; 2) a lecture about asthma treatment for children; and 3) an applied learning segment with "hands-on" demonstrations using nebulizers, inhalers, and spacers.

Results:
Change in Knowledge
Correct responses on three of the six knowledge items increased significantly from pre- to post-assessment. These were knowledge about air quality counts, knowledge that a child with asthma who catches a cold is more likely to have an asthma attack, and knowledge about whether a bronchodilator is used to treat an asthma attack. Change in Attitudes and Intentions
Increases were evident from pre- to post-assessment for the four attitudinal items. These included participant level of comfort with ability to identify a child needing medical attention for asthma, be familiar with components of an asthma trigger control plan, determine the likelihood of having an asthmatic child in their facility, and care for a child with asthma.
Conclusions: The current study suggests that educational programs can be effective in improving childcare providers' knowledge about asthma control strategies and in changing their attitudes toward asthma interventions in their facility.