Sustained Effects From a School-Based Intervention Pilot Study for Children With Asthma and Anxiety

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Children with chronic conditions (i.e., asthma) are more likely to have anxiety or depressive symptoms. Comorbid asthma and anxiety in children leads to increased morbidity, causing children to miss instructional time and parent/caregiver (CG) work absences. Asthma educational programs and mental health interventions have been developed, though no scalable programs integrate asthma education and mental health behavioral interventions for school-aged children. This study evaluated the sustained preliminary effects of an integrated asthma education and cognitive behavioral skills-building program, Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment for Asthma. Thirty-two children ages 8–12 years with asthma and symptoms of anxiety received the intervention. At 6-weeks postintervention, anxiety and CG-reported behavioral symptoms were significantly reduced, there were fewer missed doses of asthma controller medications, and asthma-related self-efficacy, personal beliefs, and the children’s understanding of asthma significantly increased. Most children (n = 29, 91%) reported continued use of coping skills.

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Journal of School Nursing