Asthma management in NYC schools: A teacher perspective
Background: Schools are an important environment for asthma management. Classroom teachers can be facilitators of school asthma management. Purpose: To assess problems with school asthma management based on a teacher perspective. Methodology: Qualitative interviews with 21 classroom teachers from 10 Bronx, NY elementary schools. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and independently coded for common themes. Results: Several problems with school asthma management were identified. Schools have a mechanism to identify students with asthma, called emergency contact card. However, teachers identified students with asthma through this mechanism only some of the time. More often teachers learned that a student had asthma through informal conversations with the student/parent or when students had asthma symptoms at school. Although there is a Department of Education policy on managing asthma in schools, none of the teachers were aware of it. Most teachers had a personal experience with asthma; however, they did not know how to handle an asthma attack or felt anxious if it were to occur in their classroom. Many mentioned failure of parent-school communication; parents often failed to submit a physician-completed form to allow administration of asthma medication during school or did not disclose child's asthma diagnosis. Conclusions: We found several problems that may contribute to inadequate school asthma management: poor school-teacher and parent-school communication about student asthma diagnosis; lack of teacher education about asthma school policies; and lack of comfort managing students' asthma. Interventions that include school staff education and reinforcing the implementation of existing policies may improve asthma management in inner-city schools.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
List five problems that may contribute to inadequate asthma management in inner-city public schools
Keyword(s): Asthma, School Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principal investigator on an NIH funded K23 mentored career development award focusing on identifying and addressing barriers to physical activity in inner-city school children with asthma. Among my scientific interests has been assessing challenges in school asthma management that may prevent students' with asthma participation in physical activity.
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.