Medical – Educational or Curriculum

Open Airways for Schools

Initiative Description: Fourteen elementary schools with high rates of asthma-related hospital utilization were grouped according to school size, percentage of children with asthma enrolled, and percentage of children eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Schools were randomized to either a nurse CM intervention or a usual care (UC) condition. In CM schools, nurse case managers conducted weekly group sessions incorporating the Open Airways curriculum, followed up on students’ school absences, and coordinated students’ asthma care with families, school personnel, and medical providers.

Study Results: CaseManagement students had fewer school absences than their counterparts in UC schools (mean 4.38 vs 8.18 days, respectively) and experienced significantly fewer emergency department visits (p < .0001) and fewer hospital days (p < .05) than UC students. No such differences existed before program initiation.

Reference: Levy, M., Heffner, B., Stewart, T., & Beeman, G. (2006). The Efficacy of Asthma Case Management in an Urban School District in Reducing School Absences and Hospitalizations for Asthma. Journal Of School Health, 76(6), 320-324. doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2006.00120.x

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good