Title

Effect Of A Home Intervention Program On Pediatric Asthma In An Environmental Justice Community

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-1-2015

Published In

Health Promotion Practice

Abstract

Asthma prevalence rates are at an all-time high in the United States with over 25 million persons diagnosed with asthma. African Americans and other minorities have higher asthma prevalence and higher exposure to environmental factors that worsen asthma as compared to Caucasians. This article describes the evaluation of an inner-city home-based asthma education and environmental remediation program that addressed both indoor and outdoor triggers through collaboration between a health system and local environmental justice organization. The program enrolled 132 children older than 2.5 years and centers on a 4- to 6-week intervention with peer counselors using the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Asthma Home Environment Checklist and the You Can Control Asthma curriculum. Families receive asthma-friendly environmental home kits. Peer counselors reinforce key asthma management messages and facilitate the completion of Asthma Action Plans. The environmental justice community partner organized block cleanups to reduce outdoor triggers. The evaluation used a pretest–posttest design to assess changes in client behavior and asthma symptoms. Data were collected at baseline and during a 6-month postintervention period. Participants saw enhanced conditions on asthma severity and control. The improvement was greatest for children whose asthma was considered “severe” based on the validated Asthma Control Test. Other positive results include the following: greater completion of Asthma Action Plans, significant reduction in the number of emergency room visits (p = .006), and substantial decreases in school absenteeism (p = .008) and use of rescue medications (p = .049). The evaluation suggests that the program was effective in improving asthma self-management in a high-risk population living within an environmental justice community.

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