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Addressing Asthma Management Challenges in a Multisite, Urban Head Start Program

Authors

  • Ann W. Garwick,

    1. Ph.D., R.N., L.M.F.T., F.A.A.N., is Professor and Associate Dean for Research, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Ann Seppelt,

    1. M.S., R.N., C.N.P., is Community Program Associate, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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  • Michelle Riesgraf

    1. R.N., P.H.N., is Health Services Manager, Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties Head Start, St. Paul, Minnesota
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Ann W. Garwick, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 5-140 Weaver-Densford Hall, 308 Harvard St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail: garwi001@umn.edu

Abstract

ABSTRACT Objective: To develop an action plan based on asthma management challenges identified by Head Start teachers in a multisite program.

Design and Sample: Qualitative, participatory action research project. Three focus groups were conducted with Head Start teachers (n=14), and 1 with Center managers (n=15) in an urban Midwestern program.

Measures: Brief background questionnaire and semistructured focus group interview guide. Content analytic techniques were used to identify and categorize asthma management issues in transcripts of teacher focus groups. Center managers verified the findings and recommended action plan strategies to address asthma management challenges.

Results: Head Start staff identified 4 common challenges: (a) undiagnosed and unreported asthma, (b) coordinating asthma care with parents, (c) medication administration issues, and (d) variability among asthma action plans. The action plan focused on (a) early identification of asthma, (b) improving coordination of asthma care with parents, (c) developing more asthma education and resources for Head Start staff and parents, and (d) developing a standardized, comprehensive Head Start asthma action plan.

Conclusions: Public health nurses can play a major role in ensuring quality care in Head Start programs by periodically identifying staff needs and developing strategies to address asthma management challenges.

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