The aim of this study was to investigate asthma management policies and protocols in Bronx, New York, public elementary schools in light of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Resolution on Asthma Management in Schools. An anonymous survey was conducted in November 2001 of principals, teachers, counselors, and nurses at five Bronx elementary schools. The response rate was 62%, and the majority of respondents (84%) were teachers; 51% of respondents learned of a student's asthma only through informal conversation with the student or parent, 28% said they were usually not informed of a student's asthma status, and only 10% learned of a child's asthma through existing school protocols; 21% of respondents did not know whom in the school was responsible for supervising the health needs of children with asthma, and 30% did not know how asthma inhalers were supposed to be handled at their school. Only 1.6% of teachers were "very familiar" with Board of Education asthma policies. The results are interpreted as showing poor adherence to the NHLBI recommendations. They also reflect a lack of consistent strategies for communication of a child's asthma diagnosis and for management of the disease in the schools. Ongoing efforts to improve asthma management in public schools through teacher education and policy development should be supported and evaluated for outcomes in teacher knowledge and student health.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine