In a study published in the May issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, Detroit children with asthma participating in a school-based asthma program had 34 percent fewer absences than children with asthma not enrolled in the program. Children in the program also received significantly higher science grades and experienced fewer daytime symptoms than students with asthma not involved in the program.
"Asthma and its symptoms can greatly impact the school life of a child," said Noreen M. Clark, PhD, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI. "Our new asthma program shows that by involving the child, parents, and school system in asthma management, children with asthma can experience substantial physical and academic benefits."
Researchers from the University of Michigan Medical School and School of Public Health, and Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, introduced an interventional asthma program into 14 Detroit elementary schools with the intention of evaluating the program's effects on symptom management and school attendance and performance. Participating schools were randomly selected to either receive the program or serve as the study control group with the option of receiving the program at a later date. A total of 835 students with asthma (98 percent African-American), grades 2 to 5, were included in the study, with 416 students receiving the asthma program and 419 students in the control group. The program was implemented over a period of 24 months and involved asthma education for students with asthma and their classmates, asthma education and management training for school personnel and parents, and communication to the asthmatic child's physician encouraging the completion of an a
Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians