School nurse-led asthma intervention for elementary school-age children living with asthma
The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a theoretically based school nurse-led asthma intervention on symptoms, asthma self-management with peak flow meter usage, daily activities, and school absences in elementary school-age children between the ages of seven and twelve. A randomized controlled, two-group, repeated measures design (pre-test, post-test, and follow-up test) was used. This study was conducted from September 2018 to June 2019 in eight public primary schools. A computer-generated randomization process was used to assign 73 subjects to the treatment or control group. The treatment group participated in a school nurse-led asthma intervention program comprised of six weekly 30-minute group lessons. The control group continued to receive usual asthma care. Data collection for both experimental and control group occurred at three time points: at baseline, six-week, and 12-week. The treatment group had statistically significant differences in reported symptoms (p < .001), asthma control with a peak flow meter usage (p < .001), and fewer interruptions in their daily activities (p < .001) immediately post-intervention at 6-weeks and at 12-weeks in comparison to the control group. Although school absences were not statistically significant, the treatment group missed fewer school days than control group. The school nurse-led asthma intervention for elementary school-age children was effective to increase asthma self-management with peak flow meter usages, decrease interruptions in daily activities, and improve symptom management. This study supports the notion that elementary school-age children should have the opportunity to practice self-monitoring and setting goals for asthma self-management with the guidance of school nurses. Self-management is a complex process, especially for children, which necessitates professional contribution and guidance. School nurses can provide essential learning steps and continuity of care for school children. The study findings have the potential to motivate school health leaders and nurses to replicate studies and seek evidence to translate research into practice.