• asthma;
  • child;
  • drug therapy;
  • health education;
  • program evaluation;
  • staff development


Acute exacerbation of asthma requires timely and appropriate treatment. Young children are completely reliant on others in this respect. This paper aims to evaluate the effectiveness of staff asthma education programs in ensuring correct treatment for young children experiencing asthma exacerbations in formal care. A systematic review was undertaken of studies focusing on staff asthma education in relation to pharmacological treatment of acute asthma exacerbation. Three randomised controlled trials and seven uncontrolled pre- and post-test intervention studies were included for review. Asthma education was found to increase staff knowledge and confidence in managing asthma. There was a distinct lack of staff performance testing and studies undertaken in the pre-school setting. Staff asthma education appears effective in increasing asthma knowledge; however, utility of this measure is limited with respect to staff performance in treating acute asthma exacerbation. Further studies evaluating asthma education through performance are needed.