Online Program

School-based health centers improve immunization rates of Asthmatic Children

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Edmond Hooker, MD, DrPH, Department of Health Services Administration, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Eric James, BS, Health Administration, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Marilyn Crumpton, MD, MPH, Division of School & Adolescent Health, Cincinnati Health Department, Cincinnati, OH
Zach Ogelsby, BA, Health Administration, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Yogita Pradhan, MS, Health Administration, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
Introduction: School based health centers (SBHC) are critical to the health status of the communities they serve. Their benefits are particularly profound for those vulnerable populations who suffer from chronic conditions, such as asthma. SBHC should be able to improve annual influenza immunization rates among asthmatic children and prevent morbidity and mortality.

Methods: The local health department provides medical coverage to many schools in the medium sized metropolitan area. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of SBHCs, we compared the influenza vaccination rates, for academic year 2013-2014, amongst schools with an SBHC, those without an SBHC, but with a nurse on site, and those served by a nursing assistant. Schools served by other organizations were excluded from analysis. Rates were compared using ANOVA.

Results: A total of 40 schools were included in the analysis. Of the 7,978 students served by SBHCs, 16.4% were asthmatic and 90.5% were from low-income households. Of the 8,786 students served by a nurse, 15.0% were asthmatic and 85.3% were low-income, and of 6,900 served by a nurse assistant, 10.5% were asthmatic and 56.0% were low-income. Schools varied greatly in their asthmatic immunization rates (range 0 to 72%). The schools served by an SBHC vaccinated significantly more of their asthmatic children than either those served by only a nurse or a nurse assistant (36.7% for SBHC, 26% for nurse staffed schools, 9.5% for nurse assistant staffed schools, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: The use of SBHCs improved influenza immunization rates of school-aged children with asthma.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related nursing

Learning Objectives:
Explain why school-based health centers are important improving the health of school-aged children Discuss the differences between having a school nurse and a school-based health center

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am in a master's program and I am supervised by Dr. Hooker who has both a MD and a DrPH.
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.