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Br J Gen Pract. Dec 1992; 42(365): 504–507.
PMCID: PMC1372141

Schoolteachers' perceptions and knowledge of asthma in primary schoolchildren.

Abstract

Schoolteachers are known to be concerned about asthma in their pupils but their opinions about the best method of addressing this concern have not previously been investigated. Eleven headteachers and 76 class teachers from 11 primary schools in the Southampton area--eight from the state sector and three private day schools--completed questionnaires. These inquired about the organization of care for asthmatic pupils, the teachers' knowledge, concerns and training regarding the disease, and their perceptions of the need for and source of further education for teachers about asthma. All 10 National Health Service school health services in the Wessex region and 16 teacher training colleges responded to questions about their provision of such education for teachers. The results demonstrated that asthma care in the 11 schools was generally disorganized, with the responsibility for keeping and administering inhalers falling on the school secretary in seven of the schools. All but two of the 11 headteachers and 89% of the class teachers were concerned about asthma, primarily in managing emergencies. Levels of knowledge were low, particularly regarding exercise, and education about asthma was almost non-existent. The great majority of class teachers (86%) wanted more information about asthma and most (67%) looked to the school health services to provide this. None of the school health services in Wessex and only one teacher training college had any planned education about asthma for teachers. Clearly, schools need to receive more information about asthma, both to enable them to cope more ably with their asthmatic pupils and to allay the anxieties of teachers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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Selected References

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