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Detecting Asthma and Managing its Symptoms in Children from Low-Income Families


Host Institution
Columbia University (previous center): Harlem Health Promotion Center
University of Michigan (previous center): Prevention Research Center of Michigan
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (previous center): University of Texas Prevention Research Center

Health Topics
Asthma | School health

Three centers are developing programs to detect asthma among children aged 3 to 10 years. Researchers at Columbia University are working with staff from 10 Head Start Centers in Harlem to identify children aged 3 to 5 years who have symptoms of asthma. While enrolling their children for Head Start, parents and guardians are asked questions about their children’s potential symptoms. Children with symptoms of asthma are referred to a physician and the family is randomly assigned to a program that educates families on managing asthma or to a group that does not receive any type of intervention. Researchers at the University of Texas are developing and testing methods for identifying children who have asthma in Houston’s urban low-income elementary and preschools. The study is being conducted at two elementary schools that have Head Start preschools. Researchers at the University of Michigan are assessing a screening, referral, follow-up, and education protocol for children aged 3 to 8 years from low-income families. Approximately 4,200 children in 14 schools in a low-income residential area of Detroit are being assessed. Children with symptoms of asthma in seven randomly selected schools will be helped by an asthma counselor who will refer the children to health care providers and educate the families about asthma management. Researchers will determine whether the intervention reduced the number of days children had symptoms of asthma, increased family efforts to manage the children’s asthma, and enhanced the children’s quality of life.
Research Setting
Medical or clinical site | School or school district | Urban area
Race or Ethnicity
No specific focus
No specific focus
Age Group
Children (4-11 years)
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Principal Investigator
David Evans
Kay Bartholomew
Noreen Clark

Project Identifier
Asthma Prevalence and Interventions in Impoverished Children in Urban Areas - SIP 21-99

Funding Source
Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects

Project Status
Not active