Los Angeles kids benefit from new asthma identification process

(NORTHBROOK, IL, March 8, 2004) Researchers from the Los Angeles-based Breathmobile Program have designed a new comprehensive, school-based method of identifying inner-city children with asthma, says a study in the March issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians. The new identification method utilizes a specially designed parental survey and scoring method, along with a school-based distribution process, to efficiently and accurately assess the prevalence and severity of asthma and the occurrence of poorly managed asthma in school-age children in an urban setting. The Breathmobile Program is a mobile asthma clinic that provides free diagnosis, treatment and patient education to low-income, asthmatic schoolchildren in southeast Los Angeles County.

"In inner-city areas such as Los Angeles, asthma is both underdiagnosed and undertreated in school-age children. Children with undiagnosed or poorly controlled asthma often cannot sleep through the night because of trouble breathing, and when their asthma flares up, they are more likely to have to go to the emergency department or hospital, miss school, and not participate in normal activities," said lead researcher Craig A. Jones, MD, FCCP, Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. "With the Breathmobile Program's new asthma case identification process, we have been able to identify thousands of children with asthma at their school sites and offer free evaluation and ongoing asthma treatment."

Researchers from the Los Angeles County and University of Southern California Medical Center and the Southern California Chapter of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America examined the scalability of a customized survey designed to identify the prevalence of asthma in children in a large urban population. The bilingual (English and Spanish), seven-question survey addresses 11 elements reg

Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians

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