Asthma Management Education in African American Children

Introduction

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016) and National Health Interview Survey, asthma is a disease equally prevalent among children and adults in the United States (8.3% in each group). Still, there are gender and racial/ethnic disparities. For example, women are more affected by asthma than men, and the disease is more prevalent among the Black population than among Whites of Hispanics (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016). The success of asthma treatment is in the prevention and long-term control of a patient’s condition, which is particularly important among children. Thus, the hypothesis is that regular asthma management education interventions can reduce the disruption of daily lives and improve control of asthma attacks, thus contributing to the general quality of life.

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Definition

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (2018) defines asthma as a chronic disease that involves airways in the lungs. These airways are constantly inflamed, and the condition gets worse when something triggers the symptoms. Thus, the airways become more swollen, and a patient has difficulties with breathing. A cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath are also typical of this condition.

Epidemiology

Asthma is the most prevalent chronic disease among children all over the world (White et al., 2016). Still, there are evident racial and ethnic disparities as well as gender disparities. Thus, as of 2016, 8.3% of children in the United States had asthma (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2017). This rate decreased from 9.4% recorded in 2010. Boys were more affected by this disease than girls with 9.2% and 7.4%, respectively.

Clinical Presentation

The most typical asthma symptom is wheezing, “a scratchy or whistling sound when you breathe” (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2018, para. 9). Also, asthma is characterized by shortness of breath, chest tightness or pain, chronic coughing, which also result in problems with sleeping. These symptoms are also called asthma attacks. Frequently, they are caused by allergies.

Complications

Asthma can be successfully managed in case the patient is aware of specific triggers and able to prevent a severe attack. Still, asthma can result in some dangerous complications, such as pneumonia, a collapse of the lung or its part, or respiratory failure. Apart from these complications, there are some comorbid conditions that frequently develop in patients with asthma. Thus, since asthma limits physical activity, people with this disease are at a higher risk for diabetes, gaining weight, hypertension, and depression. Moreover, a decrease in general quality of life can be considered a complication due to medication side effects, sleep deprivation, and frequent visits to emergency rooms.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing asthma is frequently complicated because its symptoms differ as well as the effective treatment for every patient. Usually, asthma is diagnosed based on a detailed medical history and the results of breathing tests that show how lungs are functioning. One of these tests is spirometry, which helps to identify asthma severity and assess the efficiency of treatment (American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2018).

Conclusion

To summarizing, it should be mentioned that asthma management is crucial for patients on the whole and children in particular. Specific attention should be paid to African American children who are at a higher risk of having asthma. Moreover, this population group usually has worse access to healthcare facilities compared to Whites. Therefore, educational interventions that improve asthma management skills are expected to be beneficial for African American children with asthma. PICOT question for this research can be formulated as follows: In African American children (P), will proper education on asthma management by teaching session 30 minutes three days a week (I) compare to no education (C) help reduce the disruption of daily lives and control of asthma attacks (O), over a one year period (T)?

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References

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. (2018). Asthma. Web.

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. (2017). Asthma statistics. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Asthma surveillance data. Web.

White, M., Risse-Adams, O., Goddard, P., Contreras, M., Adams, J., Hu, D., … Burchard, E. (2016). Novel genetic risk factors for asthma in African American children: Precision Medicine and the SAGE II Study. Immunogenetics, 68(6-7), 391-400. Web.

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