Evaluating the Needs of Children With Asthma in Home Care: The Vital Role of Nurses as Caregivers and Educators

Authors

  • Maryam Navaie-Waliser Dr.P.H.,

    Corresponding author
      Maryam Navaie-Waliser, Dr.P.H., Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, 5 Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. E-mail: maryam.navaie@vnsny.org
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  • Mark Misener M.D., M.P.H.,

  • Cynthia Mersman R.N., Ph.D.,

  • Priscilla Lincoln R.N., Ph.D.


  • Maryam Navaie-Waliser is a Senior Research Associate, Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York. Mark Misener is Director, Bureau of Preventive Services, Suffolk County Department of Health Services, Hauppauge, New York. Cynthia Mersman is Clinical Director, Department of Children's and Family Services, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York. Priscilla Lincoln is Director, Department of Children's and Family Services, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, New York.

Maryam Navaie-Waliser, Dr.P.H., Center for Home Care Policy and Research, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, 5 Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10001. E-mail: maryam.navaie@vnsny.org

Abstract

Abstract  To date, few evaluations have examined issues specific to children's asthma management in their homes. This study examined the characteristics, risk factors, and needs of children with asthma, and the impact of home health nurses on improving parents'/family caregivers' knowledge about asthma triggers and management. The medical records of children, ≤19 years, residing in New York City, who were admitted to home care with asthma in 1999 (n = 1,007) were reviewed retrospectively to collect a wide range of data. The majority of children with asthma in home care were ≤5 years, male, racial/ethnic minorities, and hospital referred. Approximately one in four children with asthma suffered from additional comorbidities. Home environmental triggers included dust/dust mites, animal dander, mold, perfumes/detergents, and cigarette smoke. Notable psychosocial triggers were family tensions, physical activity, anxiety/stress, and friends/peer pressure. Most parents/family caregivers had inadequate knowledge about recognition of asthma attacks and its triggers and management. Discharge assessments suggested that home health nurses can help improve caregivers' knowledge about asthma management. Children with asthma in home care have diverse needs, receive few nurse home visits, and have parents/family caregivers in need of more intensive education on asthma symptom recognition and management.

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