Addressing asthma management challenges in a multisite, urban head start program

Ann W. Garwick, Ann Seppelt, Michelle Riesgraf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To develop an action plan based on asthma management challenges identified by Head Start teachers in a multisite program. Design and Sample: Qualitative, participatory action research project. Three focus groups were conducted with Head Start teachers (n=14), and 1 with Center managers (n=15) in an urban Midwestern program. Measures: Brief background questionnaire and semistructured focus group interview guide. Content analytic techniques were used to identify and categorize asthma management issues in transcripts of teacher focus groups. Center managers verified the findings and recommended action plan strategies to address asthma management challenges. Results: Head Start staff identified 4 common challenges: (a) undiagnosed and unreported asthma, (b) coordinating asthma care with parents, (c) medication administration issues, and (d) variability among asthma action plans. The action plan focused on (a) early identification of asthma, (b) improving coordination of asthma care with parents, (c) developing more asthma education and resources for Head Start staff and parents, and (d) developing a standardized, comprehensive Head Start asthma action plan. Conclusions: Public health nurses can play a major role in ensuring quality care in Head Start programs by periodically identifying staff needs and developing strategies to address asthma management challenges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-336
Number of pages8
JournalPublic Health Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2011 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Asthma management
  • Child care
  • Early education
  • Head Start
  • Public health nurses

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