Asthma Education for Children: Clinical Research Question

Introduction

Patient education is typically viewed as a crucial step toward managing a particular disease or disorder. While the specified idea is true, the provision of essential information needs to be coupled with training the required skills and encouraging a patient to develop the independence that will allow them to control their health issues successfully. Particularly, the identification of a threat to a patient’s health and the location of possible hazards should be deemed as necessary abilities.

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The specified task is especially important to implement to meet the needs of African American children suffering from asthma. Because of the vulnerability of the target population, providing them with an opportunity to train crucial skills with the help of teaching sessions is bound to lead to a steep rise in the number of positive patient outcomes.

Definition

Asthma is currently defined as a condition that affects air passages and, thus, complicates the process of breathing severely. Particularly, nerve endings become extraordinarily irritable to an array of factors from pollen to dust, causing airways to swell and ultimately close. Unless managed by a professional nurse, an asthma attack may lead to a patient’s death (Sheehan & Phipatanakul, 2015). Asthma is typically developed in early childhood, although cases, when the condition starts at a mature age, are also known (Gass, Balachandran, Chang, Russell, & Strickland, 2015). Therefore, it is critical for a nurse to ensure that children are provided with crucial information and tools for preventing and handling an asthma attack.

Epidemiology

Among the key symptoms of pediatric asthma, frequent coughing, as well as whistling or wheezing sounds while breathing must be mentioned. A child with asthma may also have complaints about tightness in their chest and even chest pain. Moreover, asthma may manifest itself in recurrent sleeping issues caused by coughing mentioned above (Gass et al., 2015).

The disorder is typically linked to inherent factors, such as hereditary diseases and characteristics that may predispose a child to the development of asthma at a certain age (Sheehan & Phipatanakul, 2015). However, apart from the identified causes, exposure to the environment that complicates breathing, such as second-hand smoking, air pollution, etc., may lead to asthma at a very early age (Gass et al., 2015). In addition, respiratory disorders suffered at a very young age can also cause pediatric asthma (Sheehan & Phipatanakul, 2015).

Clinical Presentation

When considering the essential characteristics of asthma that make it especially difficult to treat, its vast range of clinical representations deserves a mentioning. Asthma has a massive range of phenotypes, each requiring a unique approach and incorporating different risk factors for a patient (e.g., pollen, animal fur, dust, etc.). Therefore, providing a complete diagnosis that will allow identifying efficient treatment options may become an extraordinarily difficult task (Gass et al., 2015). One may locate triggers after a detailed analysis and scrutiny of the factors to which a patient has been exposed before an asthma attack.

Complications

Because of the threats to a patient’s respiratory system that asthma entails, the specified condition may trigger a vast range of complications. Fatigue can be listed among the primary issues caused by asthma due to the inability of a patient’s respiratory system to adapt to a steep rise in workload (Sheehan & Phipatanakul, 2015). Stress and the propensity to respiratory failure are direct effects of asthma. Moreover, the disorder may lead to the development of pneumonia (Gass et al., 2015).

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Diagnosis

Spirometry and peak flow are typically used as the means of measuring a patient’s lung capacity and diagnosing asthma. Additional checks such as the Methacholine challenge may be required in case of complex asthma that is difficult to identify. Finally, imaging tests, including X-rays and CT, can be deemed as efficient tools for identifying the causes of asthma that would not be located otherwise (Sheehan & Phipatanakul, 2015).

Conclusion with PICOT Question

In African American children with asthma (P), will the use of teaching sessions (30 minutes per week) (I) compared with the traditional teaching tools for managing the problem (C) have better effects on the management of the disease (O) over a year (T)?

References

Gass, K., Balachandran, S., Chang, H. H., Russell, A. G., & Strickland, M. J. (2015). Ensemble-based source apportionment of fine particulate matter and emergency department visits for pediatric asthma. American Journal of Epidemiology, 181(7), 504-512. Web.

Sheehan, W. J., & Phipatanakul, W. (2015). Difficult to control asthma: Epidemiology and its link with environmental factors. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 15(5), 397-401. Web.

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