Tracking Pediatric Asthma:The Massachusetts Experience Using School Health Records
Published Date:Oct 2004
Source:Environ Health Perspect. 112(14):1424-1427.
Environmental Public Health Tracking
Indoor Air Quality
Mini-Monograph: Public Health Tracking
Funding:U50 CCU 122451-02/CC/ODCDC CDC HHS/United States
Description:The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, initiated a 3-year statewide project for the routine surveillance of asthma in children using school health records as the primary data source. School district nurse leaders received electronic data reporting forms requesting the number of children with asthma by grade and gender for schools serving grades kindergarten (K) through 8. Verification efforts from an earlier community-level study comparing a select number of school health records with primary care provider records demonstrated a high level of agreement (i.e., > 95%). First-year surveillance targeted approximately one-half (n = 958 schools) of all Massachusetts's K-8 schools. About 78% of targeted school districts participated, and 70% of the targeted schools submitted complete asthma data. School nurse-reported asthma prevalence was as high as 30.8% for schools, with a mean of 9.2%. School-based asthma surveillance has been demonstrated to be a reliable and cost-effective method of tracking disease through use of an existing and enhanced reporting structure.
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