How to Improve Teaching About Asthma: A Look Toward the Future

Aug-16-2014

The ALA has adopted the goal of making the Open Airways program a permanent part of every elementary school in the United States. To achieve this end, with the support of Fisons Pharmaceuticals, the program has been produced as an easy-to-read, easy-to-use kit costing $30 (US). It is comprised of a six-lesson curriculum with handouts that can be photocopied, an instructor’s guide, and a flip chart with posters. In some states, the program has been implemented in hundreds of schools. In Minnesota, for example, the program is in more than 300 schools. In addition, the ALA of Minnesota has developed a 1-h in-service program to instruct school nurses on how to use the program. School nurses taking the program receive a continuing education credit. In Broward County Florida, respiratory therapists are involved in the program, which is approved to go into 120 elementary schools. Because the program is described in simple medical terms, it can be taught by a variety of nonprofessional volunteers where nurses, respiratory therapists, and other health care professionals are unavailable. Volunteer recruitment sources include schools of nursing and respiratory therapy, pharmaceutical representatives, parents of asthmatic children, elders, and retirees.
The goal of implementing the Open Airways program in 60,000 elementary schools across the United States is an ambitious and worthwhile one. Improved knowledge and heightened asthma management skills of asthmatic children and their parents is an important part of asthma management. fully generic allegra This increased patient awareness and skill management will surely ease the task of knowledgeable and motivated caregivers while encouraging appropriate remedial education among those who need it.
Resources should be increased in institutions treating asthmatics to facilitate the development of efficient asthma education programs. Furthermore, research should be done to find out what is optimal in asthma education methods, and good teaching materials should be developed. Research is needed to find solutions to the difficulties and barriers to effective asthma education. Specific programs designed to help health professionals improve their skills at teaching asthmatics effectively should be developed. The efficacy of teaching should be assessed by reviewing the clinical outcome of the patients.
Attention should be focused on methods for helping educators to influence some aspects of the behavior of asthmatic patients that are more difficult to modify. Asthma education has been found to be less successful at reducing contact with allergens such as pets and housedust mites and at convincing parents to stop smoking even when they know it might be deleterious to their child. Further research is particularly needed to improve interventions aimed at changing behavior and improving compliance with treatment.
In conclusion, asthma education programs aimed at increasing the knowledge and skill of primary care physicians and related health personnel should be developed, standardized, and made available to as many educators as possible. The future of asthma education depends on a multidisciplinary approach involving physicians, the specialized educators, asthmatic patients, and their families working together as a team. The barriers faced by those who are involved in the management and education of asthmatic patients should be identified and solutions should be suggested.