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Project for the Evaluation of Asthma in Tipton Schools (PEATS)

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Objectives To evaluate an education project on childhood asthma, designed to enable young asthmatic children to better understand their condition and manage it more effectively, and to identify improvement in asthma management.

Design Two-day educational programme, followed by administration of a lifestyle questionnaire.

Participants and setting Children aged 5-10 years, registered with a Tipton Care Organisation GP and identified as asthmatic from school health records.

Main outcome measures Reduction in use of reliever inhalers; increased use of preventative inhalers; qualitative assessment of changes.

Main results One-hundred and ninety-two children were identified as asthmatic. One-third (n = 63) were not taking any medication, and appeared to be either wrongly labelled as asthmatic or recovered; 46% (n = 59) on inhaled medication were prescribed a bronchodilator and steroid inhaler; 19% (n = 24) were only prescribed a steroid, without reliever inhalers; 11% (n = 8) on inhaled medication did not use a steroid inhaler regularly, even if prescribed one; 41% (n = 31) children used two or more puffs of bronchodilator daily; the greatest number regularly used was nine puffs daily; 27% (n = 11) indicated that their asthma was improving.

Conclusions The high proportion of children not taking medication raises concerns about erroneous diagnosis and poor compliance; we recommend that schools take action to improve diagnostic records. Despite limited data, the educational programme appears to have been beneficial in improving appropriate inhaler use. Considerable difficulties were encountered in administering a quality of life questionnaire to children within a full curriculum.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Tipton Care Organisation, West Midlands, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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