Asthma Health Outcomes Project
Overviews of Surveyed Asthma ProgramsSeptember 2005
Domestic Programs: Alabama
Asthma Agents: Patrolling and Controlling Asthma
University of Alabama at Birmingham-Lung Health Center
Lynn B. Gerald, PhD, MSPH
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama began the Asthma Agents: Patrolling and Controlling Asthma program in 2002 and it is overseen by the University of Alabama at Birmingham Lung Health Center.
Urban, low income school children aged 6-12 years with asthma interact with an in-school internet-based computer program that provides asthma education and monitors daily asthma control, with minimal oversight by teachers or school nurses trained in the use of the program. The first session covers basic asthma education including skills on peak flow meter use. Beginning the next day and every weekday at the same time daily, students log on to the internet monitoring system and report peak flow meter readings, symptoms and medication use. This daily reporting lasts about 5 minutes. Teachers and school nurses who received prior in-service on the program supervise the students' reporting through troubleshooting and send children to the office if peak flow meter readings are yellow or red.
Evaluation to date has indicated a positive impact on self-management skills and peak flow meter use. Asthma Agents is ongoing and will be expanding into additional schools in the fall of 2005.
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