Asthma Smarts Education: Increased Disease Knowledge and Reduced School Nurse Visits

Online Publication Date: 
February 4, 2022
Publication Status: 
Published
Manuscript PDF File: 

**Published in Progress in Community Health Partnerships (PCHP) volume 16.2. All rights reserved.**

ABSTRACT
Background: Worldwide, asthma is one of the most prevalent chronic diseases. Lack of asthma knowledge can lead to exacerbations, emergency room visits, absenteeism, and decreased quality of life. Asthma prevalence in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) is often 20% or higher, and among children ages 5-17, asthma is a leading cause of missed school days. A community collab-oration created an asthma education program tailored to MPS needs.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of brief, school-based asthma education for students with asthma in grades 3-5.
Methods: A prospective cohort study of students with asthma in 3rd-5th grades was developed to assess asthma knowledge improvements via survey (n=2,066) before and after implementing three 30-minute Asthma Smarts lessons delivered one week apart. Additionally, MPS data was analyzed to explore impact on asthma related school nursing visits (n=110).
Results: Improvement upon post-testing was shown for all questions in each implementation year with highly significant results (all p<0.0001). Students that participated in Asthma Smarts made fewer asthma related visits to the school nurse with a significant difference in the mean number of visits pre and post program (p<0.001).
Conclusion: This project demonstrates potential for mutually beneficial partnerships addressing gaps in school-based nursing services, and succesful support for students with asthma.