Award Date

5-1-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)

Department

Environmental and Occupational Health

First Committee Member

Shawn L. Gerstenberger

Second Committee Member

Sheniz Moonie

Third Committee Member

Mark Buttner

Fourth Committee Member

Jennifer Keene

Number of Pages

278

Abstract

Asthma is a chronic, incurable, costly, and potentially life–threatening disease that affects an estimated 7 million children in the United States; further, more than 56,000 Nevada children are currently living with asthma. The literature suggests that a number of factors that contribute to either the development of asthma or the exacerbation of asthma symptoms in sensitive individuals can be traced to the home environment. Given that the majority of Americans spend over 90% of their time indoors, of which two–thirds are spent at home, a home–based childhood asthma intervention program represents a unique primary prevention opportunity. This pre–experimental study evaluated the impact of a home–based childhood asthma intervention program in Clark County, Nevada based on: 1) the presence of recognized environmental contributors to asthma within the home environment, 2) caregivers' general knowledge about asthma, and 3) the self–reported symptoms and burden of the disease. Self–report and observational data were collected from participants (N= 17 homes;N= 25 asthmatic children ≤ 17 years old) before and after the intervention for comparison. Non–parametric Wilcoxon signed ranks tests were performed to test hypotheses. Statistical analyses identified statistically significant decreases (p ≤ 0.05), post–intervention, in the areas of: frequency of self–reported and observed environmental asthma triggers; frequency of asthma symptoms experienced by the child (notably decreased use of short–acting medications) in the prior month; as well as frequency of missed school days due to asthma in the prior month. The study supports the findings in the literature that suggest that a multi–faceted home–based asthma intervention program may be an effective component of an overall pediatric asthma control strategy in Clark County, Nevada.

Keywords

Asthma--Environmental aspects; Asthma in children; Healthy homes

Disciplines

Environmental Health | Environmental Health and Protection | Public Health

Language

English


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