The prevalence and management of asthma in primary-aged schoolchildren in the south of England

McCann, Donna, McWhirter, Jenny, Coleman, Helen, Devall, Isobel, Calvert, Marguerite, Weare, Katherine and Warner, John (2002) The prevalence and management of asthma in primary-aged schoolchildren in the south of England Health Education Research, 17, (2), pp. 181-194.


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A postal questionnaire survey of headteachers in 149 Infant, Junior and Primary schools (response rate: 63.8%) indicated poor asthma record keeping and a need for regular staff training in asthma. Dealing with an emergency was a major concern of headteachers. In 25 of the schools surveyed, an International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC) questionnaire was distributed to parents of children in Years 3 and 4 (7–9 years). Headteacher-reported asthma prevalence was 11.9% in these schools, while ISAAC parental reports indicated a current or previous diagnosis of asthma in 24.3% children, with 17.8% receiving asthma treatment and 18.9% reporting wheeze in the previous 12 months. Of six wheezing children per Year 3/4 class, one was receiving no treatment for asthma, three had experienced four or more attacks of wheeze in the previous year with one wheezing child per two Year 3/4 classes experiencing more than 12 such attacks. Four in six children experienced exercise-related wheeze, while only one in five schools allowed asthma medication at Physical Education lessons. A whole school policy on asthma together with some regularly updated staff education and training by an asthma-trained nurse would address many of the issues raised in this study.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 1465-3648 (print)
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ePrint ID: 27260
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 22:30
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