Kickin’ Asthma : School-Based Asthma Education in an Urban Community

Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, 50 University Hall, #7360, Berkeley, CA 94720-7360, USA.
Journal of School Health (Impact Factor: 1.66). 01/2009; 78(12):655-65. DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2008.00362.x
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In urban communities with high prevalence of childhood asthma, school-based educational programs may be the most appropriate approach to deliver interventions to improve asthma morbidity and asthma-related outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the implementation of Kickin' Asthma, a school-based asthma curriculum designed by health educators and local students, which teaches asthma physiology and asthma self-management techniques to middle and high school students in Oakland, CA.
Eligible students were identified through an in-class asthma case identification survey. Approximately 10-15 students identified as asthmatic were recruited for each series of the Kickin' Asthma intervention. The curriculum was delivered by an asthma nurse in a series of four 50-minute sessions. Students completed a baseline and a 3-month follow-up survey that compared symptom frequency, health care utilization, activity limitations, and medication use.
Of the 8488 students surveyed during the first 3 years of the intervention (2003-2006), 15.4% (n = 1309) were identified as asthmatic; approximately 76% of eligible students (n = 990) from 15 middle schools and 3 high schools participated in the program. Comparison of baseline to follow-up data indicated that students experienced significantly fewer days with activity limitations and significantly fewer nights of sleep disturbance after participation in the intervention. For health care utilization, students reported significantly less frequent emergency department visits or hospitalizations between the baseline and follow-up surveys.
A school-based asthma curriculum designed specifically for urban students has been shown to reduce symptoms, activity limitations, and health care utilization for intervention participants.

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