School-Based Self-Management Interventions for Children and Adolescents with Asthma

A group of children run across an open playground.The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends school-based self-management interventions for children and adolescents with asthma. Evidence shows these interventions reduce emergency department and hospital visits among children and adolescents with asthma.

A team of specialists in systematic review methods and in asthma research, practice, and policy assessed evidence from 30 studies identified in the following published review:

Harris KM, Kneale D, Lasserson TJ, McDonald VM, Grigg J, Thomas J. School-based self-management interventions for asthma in children and adolescents: a mixed methods systematic review. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2019, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD011651.

What are school-based self-management interventions for asthma control?

School-based self-management interventions for asthma control provide education or counseling to help children with asthma learn to recognize and manage asthma symptoms, use medications and inhalers properly, and avoid asthma triggers. Programs may also provide instruction on monitoring asthma signs and symptoms, stress management, or implementing an asthma action plan. Interventions may be facilitated by trained nurses, teachers, health educators, or peers in group or individual sessions.

Why is this important?

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease among children in the United States and affects one out of every twelve children. Children with asthma may experience limitations in daily activities, missed school days, hospitalizations, or urgent primary care and emergency department visits. The burden of childhood asthma in the United States is disproportionate with higher rates in urban settings and low-income and minority communities. School-based self-management interventions for asthma control are likely to promote health equity when implemented in schools in low-income or minority communities.

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