Neighborhood Organization for Pediatric Asthma Management in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition: Evaluation and Recruitment and Retention Into Programs
While the infusion of new energy and staff time that a new, externally funded project entails is usually successful in getting a program off the ground and getting attention to it, its active support over a 2- or 3-year project period, let alone its maintenance beyond the end of such a project period, requires development of a constituency for it. Within Neighbors For A Smoke Free North Side, that constituency emerged from those who had been trained to run smoking cessation clinics and take other active roles in program implementation. Thus, after the funding for Neighbors For A Smoke Free North Side had ended, the attention of our research team and Grace Hill professional staff shifted to developing the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition. Those within the Wellness Councils and wellness activities trained to run smoking cessation activities and programs continued to raise the issue of smoking, carry out individual activities to promote nonsmoking in their neighborhoods, and appropriately attach the issue of smoking to other health promotion issues to which it is pertinent, including asthma management. In this respect, somewhat parallel to developments at national levels, it seems that the smoking problem is able to capture the interest and ongoing commitment of an appreciable core of nonsmokers dedicated to it. Now, again parallel to national trends, the core constituency for the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition appears to be emerging as the parents of asthmatic children within the neighborhoods. They have now taken leadership in planning and implementing a number of asthma-related activities so that the governing structure of that program entails harmonizing the efforts of the parents’ groups with the broader purview and activities of the neighborhood Wellness Councils.
General evaluation includes the following: (a) awareness of and attitudes toward asthma in the schools and in the community; (b) dissemination and implementation of the program; (c) prechanges and postchanges in knowledge, attitudes, self-management skills, and reported symptoms; and (d) emergency department visits, and hospitalizations as well as nonurgent, regular care among children. In addition to appropriate surveys of the community and schools, evaluation centers on a controlled, cohort study will compare 240 children from study neighborhoods with 220 children from socioeconomically, ethnically comparable neighborhoods. buy antibiotics