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Coordinated School Health Program for Asthma in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

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Public Health Problem

Asthma is a serious problem for our nation’s children.

  • More than 5 million school-aged youth have asthma.
  • Asthma is the leading cause of school absences resulting from a chronic illness, accounting for almost 8 days of missed school for each student with asthma, and more hospitalizations than any other childhood disease.
  • The death rate for children younger than 19 years of age has increased by nearly 80% since 1980.

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Initiative Description

To address the needs of children with asthma, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) established an asthma program in 2002. Components of the program included

  • Case management of students with asthma provided by the school nurse.
  • Respiratory Consulting Services provided by professional respiratory therapists for students with asthma.
  • Open Airways for Schools, an asthma education curriculum for 3rd–5th grade students with asthma.
  • Staff development and education for administrators, teachers, and staff.
  • School health teams designed to improve school climate with a focus on asthma.

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In 2007–2008, 12 elementary schools and 2 high schools participated in the evaluation. Data were collected using paper-and-pencil questionnaires about asthma management self-efficacy and difficulties from 234 elementary school students. Additional data on the asthma management program were gathered through interviews with 41 district and asthma program staff and focus groups with 16 parents, 54 elementary school students, and 26 high school students.

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Project Status

Data collection and analyses are complete, and the evaluation report is being prepared. Check this page again soon for findings and implications.

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For More Information

Additional information about this applied evaluation, including the full evaluation report, is available from Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools.

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