Asthma is a common disease of airway obstruction in school-aged children. Adequate management of asthma in children leads to fewer missed school days, fewer hospitalizations, fewer emergency room visits, and an increase in quality of life. Most asthma educational programs and evaluations have focused on urban rather than rural populations. The purpose of this study was to identify parental asthma needs, develop rural asthma education materials, and evaluate the effectiveness of these educational materials in improving the knowledge and asthma care effectiveness of parents of children with asthma in a rural community. Seven parents were contacted by telephone and administered a pre- and posttest questionnaire analyzing their level of knowledge about asthma and their quality of life. Asthma educational materials were mailed to all parents in the study before administering the posttest. Results indicated that all parents needed additional education about asthma, especially regarding medications. Pre- and posttest scores showed improvements in three areas of knowledge: long-term asthma medications, controlling roaches in the home, and daily peak flow monitoring. There was a significant improvement between pre- and posttest results from the activity domain of quality of life. Eighty-five percent of the parents reported that they had either initiated changes in their home, or planned to in the future, from reading the educational materials. The parents' response to the educational materials that they received by mail was positive, indicating that they may not have received enough information about how to care for children with asthma before our study. The data suggest that distribution of asthma educational materials in rural communities can increase parental knowledge about asthma and lead to positive changes in behavior that can improve their children's health.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Clinical excellence for nurse practitioners : the international journal of NPACE|
|State||Published - May 2001|
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