Feasibility and Preliminary Outcomes of a School-Based Intervention for Inner-City, Ethnic Minority Adolescents with Undiagnosed Asthma

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Patient Education and Counseling


Objective: To describe and test the feasibility of asthma self-management for adolescents with undiagnosed asthma (ASMA-Undx), an 8-week school-based intervention for urban adolescents comprised of three group and five individual coaching sessions, and academic detailing for their primary care providers (PCPs).
Methods: Thirty high school students (mean age 15.9; 92% female; 72% Latino/a) who reported symptoms of persistent asthma, but no diagnosis were randomized to ASMA-Undx or a no-treatment control group. Interviews were conducted pre- and post-intervention.
Results: All intervention students participated in the three group sessions; 64% received all five individual coaching sessions. Academic detailing telephone calls made by a pediatric pulmonologist reached 83% of the students' PCPs. Relative to controls, a significantly greater proportion of ASMA-Undx students were diagnosed (79% versus 6%, respectively), and prescribed asthma medication (57% versus 6%, respectively). Barriers to diagnosis and treatment included students' and parents' lack of knowledge about asthma.
Conclusion: ASMA-Undx is a feasible and promising intervention to assist urban adolescents with undiagnosed asthma obtain a diagnosis and treatment.
Practice implications: ASMA-Undx has the potential to reach many adolescents because it is school-based. It can serve as a model for interventions targeting other pediatric illnesses.


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