A multilevel perspective on goals, barriers, and facilitators of school-based asthma management
Background: School based asthma care is being increasingly used to combat uncontrolled pediatric asthma. Objective: The purpose of these secondary analyses was to explore multi-level perspectives regarding school-based asthma medical management for inner city, school-aged children with poor asthma control. Methods: Sixty-six participants from two large U.S. urban school districts and key stakeholders participated in 1:1 interviews and focus groups. Participants were selected from across the asthma care community (children/caregivers, school personnel, nurses, pharmacists, healthcare providers, and administrators/insurers). Qualitative and descriptive techniques were used to analyze data. Results: Goals: Children/caregivers prioritized living a normal active life with few asthma worries. Other stakeholders prioritized reducing student’s asthma related emergency room visits and lost learning time. Facilitators: Continuity of care, strong relationships between care community members, and incentivizers were commonly suggested facilitators. School-based asthma management was viewed as a strong facilitator, particularly in the presence of a full-time school nurse. Barriers: Four themes were identified. (1) Greater systems and policy support for asthma management is needed in general, and at school in particular. (2) Overburdened families and systems often operate in crisis-mode, and asthma management is often not a priority until crisis is reached. (3) Discordance and distrust between members of the asthma care community can hinder shared asthma management. (4) Better communication is needed at all levels to improve care. Conclusion: Moving away from a crisis-based approach to asthma management for high-risk children will require increased systemic support for proactive asthma care and optimized communication within the asthma care community. Supplemental data for this article is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02770903.2021.2018704.