What Is the Problem?

  • • Asthma is the number one chronic illness of school children in Alabama.

  • • There are health disparities in asthma burden among minority and middle adolescent populations.

  • • Asthma is a major cause of morbidity, loss of school days, and increased hospitalizations resulting in increased health care expenditures.

  • • Asthma self-management is essential to proper healthcare of this chronic condition.

  • • Middle school students are at a pivotal age for taking on more responsibility for self-care.

What Are the Findings?

  • • A school-based asthma self-management program is feasible and builds on adolescent transitions.

  • • Nonclinical community-based partnerships are effective in improving health and reducing health disparities by addressing social, behavioral, environmental, and medical determinants of health.

  • • Teen participants improved with a decrease in asthma symptoms, and an increase in asthma control, medication knowledge/skills, self-efficacy, and asthma responsibility.

  • • Teens were empowered to take on responsibility for self-management.

Who Should Care Most?

  • • Children, parents, youth, and adults with asthma.

  • • School nurses, healthcare providers, teachers, and school administrators.

  • • State and local health policy advocates concerned about health and health care costs.

  • • Academics and clinicians interested in promoting health and working collaboratively to improve asthma care.

Recommendations for Action

  • • Continue to engage with communities including schools, workplaces, and neighborhoods, to provide access to asthma self-management education.

  • • Continue to involve interprofessional teams in care to support best practices in a health care area that involves multiple disciplines (nursing, respiratory therapy, medicine, and others). [End Page 9]

Ellen B. Buckner
Ida Moffett School of Nursing Samford University
Donna J. Copeland
College of Nursing, University of South Alabama
USA Children's and Women's Hospital
Kristina S. Miller
College of Nursing, University of South Alabama
Timothy Op't Holt
Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health, University of South Alabama

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