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Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Dawn Dore-Stites
Doctor of Philosophy
Title: Evaluation of a School-Based Program Targeting Pediatric Asthma Self-Management Skills in an Urban Population
Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua, Chair
Dr. Scott Gaynor
Dr. Amy Naugle
Dr. Douglas Homnick
Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
3715 Wood Hall
Asthma is the most commonly diagnosed chronic disorder in childhood and is linked with several problematic outcomes including frequent school absences, increased hospitalizations and decreased quality of life. Further, urban populations struggling with low socioeconomic status are disproportionately represented in prevalence statistics and suffer from increased functional morbidity relative to other children with asthma. These findings exist in the midst of largely effective pharmacological interventions.
Asthma self-management programs (SMPs) target several behaviors linked to improved outcomes and are often used as an adjunct to medication management. SMPs have been employed using a variety of techniques and treatment targets in a wide range of settings. Data suggests that SMPs have a mild to moderate impact on functional morbidity outcomes and merit further research.
In order to facilitate efficacious interventions to those at highest risk of problematic outcomes, common barriers impinging on program attendance must be alleviated. The school setting proves to be an ideal location to deliver SMPs due to their accessibility and available resources. The current project evaluates a school-based asthma SMP delivered in an urban setting. Results reveal statistically significant increases in quality of life and child reported knowledge as well as decreased utilization of urgent care outpatient treatment. Trends towards decreased agreement between children and caregivers on allocation of asthma management tasks reflect challenges with implementation of programs in the absence of frequent parental contact. School-based asthma SMPs afford several benefits to high-risk populations but also must reflect the need for family involvement in successful asthma management.