Online Program

Working towards the improvement of asthma outcomes in schools using a curriculum implemented by respiratory therapy students

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 10:54 a.m. - 11:06 a.m.

Genny Carrillo Zuniga, MD, MPH, ScD, Department of Environmental Health, Texas A&M Health Science Center, School of Rural Public Health, McAllen, TX
Betty Chong-Menard, RRT, RN, MEd., Respiratory Therapy Program, South Texas College, Dr. Ramiro R. Casso Nursing & Allied Health Campus, McAllen,, TX
Gabriel Peña, BAT, RRT-NPS, Respiratory Therapy Program, South Texas CollegeNursing & Allied Health Campus, McAllen, TX
Adalia Del Bosque, RN, Comprehensive School Health Department, McAllen Independent School District, McAllen, TX
Yoon-Ho Seol, PhD, Department of Clinical and Digital Health Sciences, Augusta University, Augusta, GA
Rose Lucio, MPH, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health-McAllen Campus, McAllen, TX
Background: Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses in the United States. It causes repeated episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness, and nighttime or early morning coughing.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was twofold: a) to evaluate the impact of a single session of an asthma curriculum on knowledge attained among elementary and middle school students enrolled in grades K through 8, and 2) to assess the collaborative partnership with a Respiratory Therapy (RT) program that has provided asthma program sustainability since 2010.

Methodology: This non-randomized longitudinal study aimed to assess the impact of a single asthma session on asthma knowledge attained among elementary and middle school students enrolled in grades K through 8. RT students thought the asthma curriculum.

Findings/Results: The Asthma curriculum was offered to 153 students from 11 schools (9 elementary and 2 middle schools).We observed significant differences in the mean scores of the pre- and post-tests administered to children who participated in this project. After training, the mean score increased from 5.23 (n=133; SD=1.81; pre-test) to 5.83 (n=133; SD=2.24; post-test). The post-test mean score was significantly higher than that of the pre-test (df=132; P<.001; 2-tailed). In addition, 86.2-96.5% of the RT students believe that the use of posters, booklets, training exercises, and role-playing helped them establish rapport with the students.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This study suggests that one 60 minute asthma educational session can result in improved knowledge and behavior change for the well-being of students with asthma.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Environmental health sciences
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Assess whether one asthma educational session will provide knowledge to elementary and middle school students with asthma. Discuss the challenges of offering asthma education at schools due to the academic challenges and standardized tests. Explain the advantages of having Respiratory Therapy students as workforce for an asthma program.

Keyword(s): Asthma, School Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator of the asthma study since its inception in 2007. The study is growing and hospitals are collaboring are collaborating with me to improve asthma education, outcomes, etc. I have been working on the public health field for over 20 years.
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.

Back to: 5139.0: Asthma Management in Schools