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Asthma Health Outcomes Project

Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005

Domestic Programs: Virginia Back to Index

Asthma Outcomes at an Inner-City School-Based Health Center

University of Minnesota

Arlington, VA

Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH

(703) 413-1100 ext. 5127   


The University of Minnesota conducted a study entitled Asthma Outcomes at an Inner-City School-Based Health Center from 1996 to 1999. This study measured asthma outcomes after initiation of an inner-city elementary school health center with a school wide focus on asthma detection and treatment. The site was an inner-city elementary school in Minneapolis, MN.

The study design incorporated a pre and post comparison with a longitudinal cohort of children (n=67) and a cross-sectional cohort of children before (n=156) and after (n=114) the intervention. Hospitalization rates for asthma decreased 75% to 80% over the study period. Outpatient visits for care in the absence of asthma symptoms doubled (p<.01), and the percentage of students seeing a specialist for asthma increased. Use of peak flow meters, use of asthma care plans, and use of inhalers also improved. While no change occurred in school absenteeism, parents reported that their children had less awakening with asthma and that asthma was less disruptive to family plans.

This school wide intervention that included identification of children with asthma, education, family support, and clinical care using an elementary school health center was effective in improving asthma outcomes for children.

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