What's the Best Way to Get Students to Take Their Asthma Medication?

AUGUST 30, 2017
Involving school nurses in the administration of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) may help reduce missed school days due to asthma flare-ups, according to a study published online in the Journal of Asthma. 

Stephen J. Teach, MD, MPH, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Children's National Health System, and colleagues recruited 46 Washington, D.C.-area children in grades kindergarten through 8 to participate in the study, who were split into an intervention group, meaning they got their ICS in the morning from a school nurse, and a control group, who remained on their prescribed morning and evening doses at home.

Although both groups had about a 90% reciept of ICS rate, the intervention group missed about 20% less school days during the 40-day trial, 24% vs. 44%. The intervention group also reported fewer functional limitations, less asthma-related sleep loss, and less asthma-related adjustments to their family life. 

The researchers noted that following the study, they have since started to prescribe school-based administration of morning ICS doses to families interested in receiving them as a new standard of care.

Harrington CB, Langhans E, Shelef DQ, Savitz M, Whitmore C, each SJ. A pilot randomized trial of school-based administration of inhaled corticosteroids for at-risk children with asthma. J Asthma. 2017; 1 DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2017.1323915