Friday, September 9, 2016
Creation and implementation of SAMPRO™: A school-based asthma management program
Childhood asthma affects over 6 million children in the United States. In addition to its effects on physical health, asthma has an impact on academic and personal development. Asthma related absences lead to decreased reading proficiency and increased learning disabilities. In this month’s issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Lemanske and colleagues describe the creation of a central resource, termed SAMPRO (School-based Asthma Management Program). (J Allergy Clin Immunol 2016; 138(3): 711-723).
The SAMPRO workforce identified four components for development and implementation: (1) a circle of support facilitating communication, (2) asthma management plans, (3) comprehensive education plan, and (4) assessment of school environment.
The circle of support is comprised of persons involved in taking care of children, including family, school personnel, clinicians, and community members. School nurses in particular are pivotal in helping to ensure that children with asthma receive proper treatment. In fact, the SAMPRO workforce strongly endorses full-time licensed registered nurses in schools (REF).
Secondly, the SAMPRO workforce strongly endorses the dissemination of asthma action plans among members of the circle of support. Because asthma action plans have been shown to reduce deaths and emergency room visits, this is a high priority. Electronic health information exchanges, web portals and continuity of care documents are methods that can help with this.
Thirdly, education of members within the circle of support has been highlighted, especially for school nurses. The SAMPRO toolbox provides resources that can support nurses and others in managing chronic diseases in children.
Lastly, environmental triggers like pests, and poor indoor air quality have to be addressed. 55% of school districts require monthly campus-wide pest inspections but there remains a lot to be done. The SAMPRO workforce recommends development of an Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) management program to help promote a healthy school environment. School staff needs to be educated in order to help empower them to make changes to the environment.
Altogether, these recommendations can help keep asthma from getting out of control enusring that children can continue to be at school, learning and growing rather than struggling with their breathing problems.