Current Content
Volume 37 - Number 1
January/February 2011

Educational Interventions for Childhood Asthma: A Review and Integrative Model For Preschoolers from Low-Income Families
Deborah Winders Davis, Melissa K. Gordon, Barbara M. Burns

Millions of children in the U.S. suffer from asthma. A disproportionately large number of those children are from low-income and racial minority families. With or without asthma, children from low-income families are at risk for delayed school readiness and less than optimal academic achievement trajectories.The aim of this article was to review the literature on educational interventions for young children with asthma and their families to determine if there was sufficient evidence to guide practice. In addition, a new theoretical model upon which to base new interventions is proposed. Literature was reviewed from Medline, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and the Cochrane Reviews databases. A limited number of randomized, controlled studies of educational interventions for children and their families was found, and only one study was specifically aimed at preschool-age children. Comparisons among studies are difficult because of varying methodologies, and findings are non-conclusive. In conclusion, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, multi-level interventions are needed to minimize the effects of childhood asthma, especially for children from low-income families. Large-scale, randomized, controlled studies are needed to provide empirical evidence for the efficacy of specific interventions for preschoolers prior to school entry to minimize the detrimental effects of uncontrolled asthma on school achievement.