Teacher Characteristics and Knowledge of Asthma


Yvette Q. Getch, The University of Georgia, Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, 402 Aderhold Hall, Athens, GA 30602. E-mail: ygetch@uga.edu


ABSTRACT Objectives: We explored the characteristics of teachers and their knowledge of asthma and its management in elementary and middle-school classrooms.

Design: Teachers completed the Georgia Public School Teachers' Asthma Knowledge and Perception Survey.

Sample: The study sample consisted of 593 elementary (n=291) and middle-school teachers (n=302) from Georgia.

Methods: Participants were asked to complete a survey on asthma knowledge. Data were analyzed to examine differences among elementary- and middle-school teachers, teachers' level of educational attainment, teachers' chronic medical condition, and teachers' asthma status.

Results: Middle-school teachers were more knowledgeable about asthma than elementary teachers. No differences were found among teachers based on their level of educational attainment. Most teachers strongly agreed that asthma could not be cured, but managed. Teachers with chronic illnesses were more knowledgeable than those without a chronic illness and teachers who had asthma were the most knowledgeable about asthma and its management.

Conclusions: Teacher knowledge of asthma and its management was low among all teachers regardless of educational attainment, health status, or whether teachers taught at elementary or middle-school levels.