142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Asthma Symptom Perception, School Absenteeism, and Healthcare Utilization

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

Alexandria Vigil , College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Kimberly Arcoleo, PhD, MPH , College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Asthma costs the US healthcare system $56 billion dollars (approximately $1,039/child annually) and does not account for lost productivity costs due to school absenteeism. Parents’ under-perception of children’s symptoms and lay model illness representations (IR) may lead to inadequate controller medication use resulting in absenteeism and increased healthcare utilization. This study examined parents’ symptom perception and IRs on controller medication use, school absenteeism and healthcare utilization. Subjects: Mexican and Puerto Rican (PR) parents (N=267) and children ages 5-12 years (N=267) were enrolled from two school-based health centers and a mobile asthma clinic in Phoenix, AZ and two inner-city hospitals in Bronx, NY.  Method: Interviews with parents and children, spirometry, and children’s medical records were reviewed at: enrollment, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months post-enrollment. Results: PR children were more likely to miss school (OR=1.81, 95% CI=1.12, 2.94, p=.02), have an ED visit (OR=5.61, 95% CI=3.05, 10.31, p=<.0001), and hospitalization (OR=2.35, 95% CI=1.16, 4.76, p=.02) than Mexican children. Children of parents whose IRs were congruent with the professional model were less likely to have an ED visit (OR=3.37, 95% CI=1.42, 7.97, p=.006). Children of parents who under-perceived symptoms were more likely to have an ED visit than those of parents who magnified symptoms (OR=2.13, 95% CI=1.04, 4.35, p=.04).  Conclusion: Children of PR ethnicity, whose parents under-perceived their symptoms, and had IRs aligned with the lay model had higher healthcare utilization and absenteeism. Interventions to improve symptom perception and reframe IRs may result in decreases in healthcare utilization and absenteeism.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the role of parental symptom perception and illness representations on children's controller medication use, school absenteeism, and healthcare utilization.

Keyword(s): Asthma, Chronic Disease Management and Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked with my advisor, Dr. Arcoleo, on running these analyses and preparing this abstract as part of my Honor's thesis.
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.