Neighborhood Organization for Pediatric Asthma Management in the Neighborhood Asthma Coalition
African Americans have disproportionate prevalence, morbidity, and mortality from asthma.’ Asthma management programs have reduced symptoms, attacks and emergency department usage. However, a pattern of underutilization of medical care and poor day-to-day management of asthma in cases of asthma deaths among African American children indicate the importance of promoting the following: (1) ongoing vs episodic care; (2) reduced exposure to triggers; (3) sensitivity to signs of attacks; (4) attack management; and (5) improved communication with caregivers, professionals, and teachers itat on lincomycin 500 mg.
The “Neighborhood Asthma Coalition” is a community organization approach to promoting basic understanding of asthma and encouraging improved care within four low-income, predominantly African American neighborhoods of St. Louis. The Neighborhood Asthma Coalition emphasizes neighborhood and community organization strategies and social support to reach asthmatic children, their parents or caretakers, and other family and friends. Community organization, “empowerment” strategies, and “local ownership” usually entail participation of target audiences in planning and promoting programs. Such approaches may hold special promise for African American and other underserved groups. Through community organization, people may develop programs which meet their particular needs, which encourage them to assist and support each others’ efforts, and which gain further assistance and support from formal and informal social structures and organizations.
African Americans in the United States are, of course, not the only identifiable group experiencing heightened prevalence of asthma and related mortality. For instance, marked and largely unexplained increases in prevalence and mortality have been noted in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in groups within the United States. A companion paper in this supplement describes the efforts of groups in New Zealand to combat this rise. As discussed below, there are parallels between the present report and the findings of those in New Zealand regarding both the importance of social and psychological aspects of asthma and the identification of promising responses. These parallels tend to support the emphasis on community approaches which address these social and psychological aspects of asthma as well as, by implication, other chronic disease.