The impact of a school-based, nurse-delivered asthma health education programme on quality of life, knowledge and attitudes of Saudi children with asthma
Background\ud In Saudi Arabia, more than 2 million people complain of asthma: 13% being aged 6-10 years. This makes asthma one of the most common illnesses among children in Saudi Arabia. Little has been explored about children’s ability to learn more about their own asthma in Saudi Arabia.\ud Aims\ud The study was designed to assess the impact of a school-based, nurse-delivered asthma health education programme on asthmatic children's knowledge and attitude towards asthma, quality of life, anxiety level, and school absenteeism.\ud Methods\ud A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent group, pre-test post-test design was used. The education programme was developed from existing evidence. The Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, Spence Anxiety Tool, Asthma Knowledge Questionnaire, and Asthma Attitude Questionnaire were employed for data collection in 2013. Intervention (n=130) and control (n=98) groups were drawn from 10 schools in Ha’il region, Saudi Arabia. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to examine differences between groups.\ud Results\ud The level of asthma knowledge was increased significantly more in the intervention group than in the control group (F=26.5746, DF 2, p<0.001). Attitude toward asthma was not changed by the intervention (F=0.0490, DF 2, p=0.9522). In the accumulative score, there was a statistically significant difference in the anxiety score between the three phases of intervention group (F=3.7599, DF 2, p=0.0242) but no statistically significant difference between pre-test and either post-test (p>0.05). Anxiety scores had reverted to those at pre-test at post-test II. Regarding quality of life, the intervention group scored higher in total quality of life scores compared to the control group (F=87.6534, DF 2, p<0.001). Finally, school absenteeism also reduced significantly after delivering the programme (F=2.98, DF 2, p=0.003).\ud Conclusion\ud The asthma education programme impacted positively on students' knowledge, anxiety, quality of life, and school attendance. However, asthma education did not change attitudes towards the condition. The results emphasise the benefits of provision of health education directly to children. Asthma education should be integrated into the Saudi national child health programme.
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