School-based interventions can help students, parents, teachers, and administrators manage asthma by providing programs, policies, and environments that support healthy lifestyles. Schools are also useful resources for preventing or managing asthma in the broader community by educating parents and community members.
Previous work in school-based settings has found:
- Many schools distribute regular communication to students, teachers, and parents (e.g., parent newsletters, Channel One programming, student newspapers, daily announcements), which can easily be used to encourage asthma management.
- Schools may be well-suited for asthma interventions because they assess and store information on individuals (e.g., students, employees) and communication systems for these individuals are already in place. These settings make it easy to distribute tailored information to participants.
- School-based interventions can often be a more appropriate learning environment for children and adolescents than a medical setting.
- Asthma interventions implemented in schools have the capacity to reach a population that might not otherwise have access to clinical services.
- School children represent a captive audience that is eager to learn new ideas. Providing asthma education in schools during the developmental years will reach students when they are beginning to make their own lifestyle choices.
- Success and ownership are maintained when schools develop their own implementation plan, work out problems, have broad involvement among teachers and staff, and reach their own solutions.
- Teachers can be effectively used in rural health education campaigns to implement sound health practices among children. Coordinated efforts need to be made between school personnel and health educators.
- The school is an excellent place to identify children with asthma and educate them about their disease and it is a logical place to gather information about how children are managing their asthma.
- Education sessions can be incorporated into existing infrastructure for asthma education in a variety of settings in order to provide long-term support asthma self management behaviors.
- Intervention strategies often include informational support (information about asthma management and environmental triggers), tangible support (skills and abilities people have to identify and address asthma symptoms early) and appraisal support (sense of acceptance and belonging as individuals cope with their asthma).
- Asthma interventions in schools tended to focus on policies and environmental changes to reduce exposure to triggers.
Print this window