Objective: Classroom teachers play an important role in facilitating asthma management in school but little is known about their perspectives around asthma management. We examined the perspectives of classroom teachers around barriers to school asthma management. Methods: We conducted key informant interviews with 21 inner-city classroom teachers from 3rd to 5th grades in 10 Bronx, New York elementary schools. Sampling continued until thematic saturation was reached. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and independently coded for common themes. We used thematic and content review to analyze interview data. Results: Seven themes representing teachers’ perspectives on in-school asthma management emerged: (1) the problematic process of identifying students with asthma; (2) poor familiarity with the city health department's asthma initiative and poor general knowledge of school policies on asthma management; (3) lack of competency in managing an acute asthma attack in the classroom and poor recognition of symptoms of an asthma attack; (4) lack of confidence in dealing with a hypothetical asthma attack in the classroom; (5) lack of quick access to asthma medication in school; (6) limited communication between school staff; and (7) enthusiasm about learning more about asthma management. Conclusions: Our results revealed several barriers contributing to suboptimal in-school asthma management: ineffective ways of identifying students with asthma, lack of teacher knowledge of guidelines on asthma management, lack of comfort in managing students’ asthma, inadequate access to asthma medication in school, and limited communication between school staff. These issues should be considered in the design of interventions to improve in-school asthma management.
- elementary school students
- in-school asthma management
- qualitative research
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health