June 11, 2015

Reducing School Absences Among Students with Asthma

A recent Hartford Courant article reports that greater communication between nurses and families on managing asthma could reduce school absences for children with chronic diseases. These preliminary findings stem from a study conducted in Denver and Hartford by Building Bridges for Asthma Care.

The study initially enrolled 67 students with high-risk asthma from three elementary schools in Hartford, including Burns Latino Studies Academy, M.L. King, and SAND Elementary. Nurses in those schools worked with students and families on asthma action plans by providing guidance on proper inhaler use, monitoring students, and sharing information with the student’s primary care providers.

The results of the study show that compared to the previous year, students in the asthma intervention program had 12% fewer absences in the 2013-14 school year. Students with asthma who declined enrollment in the intervention program had nearly a 9% increase in absences.

The asthma intervention program has expanded to 225 students in 10 of Hartford’s public schools.  For more information on the asthma intervention study, read the Hartford Courant article.