Aims The Asthma Innovation Research (AIR) team aims to raise awareness of asthma and reduce stigma of the condition through various education schemes. This abstract will focus on the Asthma Awareness school education programme.
Methods The Asthma Awareness school scheme educates children about what asthma is, how to recognise an asthma attack and what actions to take if someone has an asthma attack. Teaching is delivered via a medical student-led education program in 30 min sessions, including presentations, data collection and an informal quiz. Teaching is adapted according to the age group of the audience. The presentation covers the basic physiology of asthma, triggers, treatment, signs of an asthma attack and how to help a peer who is having an asthma attack. Data is collected via either a heads down hands up quiz (those aged 4–8) or a written quiz (children aged 8–14). The children take the quiz both before and after the presentation.
Results Of 1588 children aged 8–14 from 20 schools, taking the written quiz, average score achieved pre-presentation was 39%, rising to 84% post-presentation (Everson et al. 2016). The heads down hands up data from children aged 4–8 years showed a score of 66% before the presentation rising to 96% after our sessions. A universal benefit was demonstrated with improvement in knowledge across all areas and within all age groups, with the greatest improvement in management of asthma.
Conclusion A medical student-led education program provides an efficacious and low cost method of raising awareness of asthma among school children. Education sessions can equip children of all ages with the ability to recognise and act in the case of an asthma exacerbation. Expansions of the scheme including education for teachers, books and prompt cards will ensure the sustainability and continued success of the project.
Reference for Article Everson, et al. 2016, TP01 A cost effective primary school asthma education program: pilot study from inner London schools. L, Everson, J, Kearney, J, Coppel, S Braithwaite, R Chodhari, Clinical and translational allergy 6:117, 4th Paediatric Allergy and Asthma Meeting (PAAM).
With Acknowledgements to Jonny Coppel, Lucy Everson, Lucy Gibson and Jessica Kearney
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