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158388 Community health center sponsored asthma screening program for minority children in lower Manhattan public primary schools
Monday, November 5, 2007
Asthma is a common chronic disease often begins in childhood. Its prevalence varies among different regions and races, with highest rates found in inner city African-Americans. The lower incidence of asthma/milder severity found in Asians, is often attributed to genetic factors. However, the possibility of under diagnosis due to differences in disease interpretation, language barriers, and poor adaptation of screening questionnaires to populations not significantly represented in the validation processes has never been adequately addressed before.
This project uses validated school-based asthma and allergy screening questionnaires to study asthma prevalence in lower Manhattan. 95% of participants were ethnic Chinese, in inner city settings, with lower social economic status and significant language barriers.
From 2005 to 2006, a total of 476 second-grade students were screened. The questionnaires were translated into Chinese, and given to students' families with original English versions. 229 (48.1%) participants with no prior diagnosis responded positive to the questionnaires, on par with a range of 35% to 49% previously reported from other inner city school screenings in four different metropolitan areas.
Strong institutional support from the health center, and close working relationship with school nurses were crucial elements for successful campaigns. Other innovative incentives, such as culture sensitive asthma workshops for teachers and parents prior to screenings, inter-classroom participation contests, and on-site pulmonary function tests with take-home asthma computer games for children screened positive, were also helpful. Similar screening programs could prove to be invaluable in identifying and treating this chronic disease in other Asian American population.
Keywords: Asthma, Asian and Pacific Islander
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.