[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article describes the evaluation of a comprehensive school-based asthma management program in an inner-city, largely African-American school system. All 54 elementary schools (combined enrollment 13,247 students) from a single urban school system participated in this study. Schools were randomly divided between immediate and delayed intervention programs. The intervention consisted of 3 separate educational programs (for school faculty/staff, students with asthma, and peers without asthma) and medical management for the children with asthma (including an Individual Asthma Action Plan, medications, and peakflow meters). Children with asthma were identified using a case detection program and 736 were enrolled into the intervention study. No significant differences were observed in school absences, grade point average, emergency room visits, or hospitalizations between the immediate and delayed intervention groups. Significant increases in knowledge were observed in the immediate intervention group. This study of a school-based asthma management education and medical intervention program did not show any differences between the intervention and control groups on morbidity outcomes. Our experience leads us to believe that such measures are difficult to impact and are not always reliable. Future researchers should be aware of the problems associated with using such measures. In addition, connecting children with a regular source of health care in this population was difficult. More intensive methods of medical management, such as school-based health centers or supervised asthma therapy, might prove more effective in inner-city schools.
Journal of School Health 09/2006; 76(6):291-6. · 1.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Public Health recently developed a logistic regression model showing those variables that are most likely to predict a positive tuberculin skin test in contacts of tuberculosis cases. However, translating such a model into field application requires a stepwise approach. This article describes a decision tree developed to assist public health workers in determining which contacts are most likely to have a positive tuberculin skin test. The Classification and Regression Tree analysis was performed on 292 consecutive cases and their 2,941 contacts seen by the Alabama Department of Public Health from January 1, 1998, to October 15, 1998. Several decision trees were developed and were then tested using prospectively collected data from 366 new tuberculosis cases and their 3,162 contacts from October 15, 1998, to April 30, 2000. Testing showed the trees to have sensitivities of 87-94%, specificities of 22-28%, and false-negative rates between 7 and 10%. The use of the decision trees would decrease the number of contacts investigated by 17-25% while maintaining a false-negative rate that was close to that of the presumed background rate of latent tuberculosis infection in the state of Alabama.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 11/2002; 166(8):1122-7. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper describes an asthma screening procedure developed to identify children with asthma for an intervention study. Students were classified into three categories based on questionnaire responses (previous asthma, suspected asthma, and no evidence of asthma). Those classified as suspected asthma by questionnaire underwent further testing, including spirometry and exercise challenge. Using the questionnaire alone, the measured asthma prevalence was 32%; the addition of spirometry and step testing reduced this estimate to 9.89%. The diagnosis of asthma was confirmed in 96% of children who saw the study physician. This screening procedure can identify school children with suspected undiagnosed asthma.
Journal of Asthma 03/2002; 39(1):29-36. · 1.85 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Budgetary constraints in tuberculosis (TB) control programs require streamlining contact investigations without sacrificing disease control.
To develop more efficient methods of TB contact investigation by creating a model of TB transmission using variables that best predict a positive tuberculin skin test among contacts of an active TB case.
After standardizing the interview and documentation process, data were collected on 292 consecutive TB cases and their 2941 contacts identified by the Alabama Department of Public Health between January and October 1998. Generalized estimating equations were used to create a model for predicting positive skin test results in contacts of active TB cases. The model was then validated using data from a prospective cohort of 366 new TB cases and their 3162 contacts identified between October 1998 and April 2000.
Tuberculin skin test result.
Using generalized estimating equations to build a predictive model, 7 variables were found to significantly predict a positive tuberculin skin test result among contacts of an active TB case. Further testing showed this model to have a sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value of approximately 89%, 36%, and 26%, respectively. The false-negative rate was less than 10%, and about 40% of the contact workload could be eliminated using this model.
Certain characteristics can be used to predict contacts most likely to have a positive tuberculin skin test result. Use of such models can significantly reduce the number of contacts that public health officials need to investigate while still maintaining excellent disease control.
JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 03/2002; 287(8):996-1002. · 29.98 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although physicians generally reserve pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) referral for patients in later stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), there is no evidence to suggest that PR programs are more effective for these persons than for those in earlier stages of the disease. This study examined the relationship between 6-minute walk change and COPD stage in patients completing PR.
The sample consisted of 76 patients who enrolled in the University of Alabama at Birmingham's Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program with a primary diagnosis of COPD between January 1996 and June 2000. Data was collected on 6-minute walk upon entry into the program and upon program completion. Patients were stratified according to COPD stage using the American Thoracic Society staging system.
There were significant differences among the three stages with regard to initial and ending 6-minute walk distances such that persons in later stages of the disease have shorter initial and ending 6-minute walk distances. However, all three stages show significant improvements in the 6-minute walk after PR. There were no significant differences in the median change among groups indicating that the median change was not better (or worse) for patients in any particular COPD stage.
This study suggests that PR is equally effective in increasing physical performance for all patients regardless of COPD stage. This type of information can be used to support the recommendation of PR for patients early in the disease process.
Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation 01/2001; 21(5):296-9.