Development and evaluation of an integrated asthma awareness curriculum for the elementary school classroom

Emily V. Pike, Colleen M. Richmond, Angela Hobson, Jamie Kleiss, Jamie Wottowa, David A. Sterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Asthma is one of the most common causes of school absenteeism, and many children are affected by, or encounter, it in the school setting. An integrated curriculum that presents asthma as a real world example can raise all childrens awareness and understanding of asthma, not just those with the condition. A 15-lesson, asthma-based curriculum was developed to integrate with and enhance the core subjects of math, science, and communication arts. A pilot test was performed in fourth- and fifth-grade classes to assess student asthma knowledge gain, teacher acceptance, and grade appropriateness of the curriculum. During the 2006-2007 school year, 15 teachers were recruited from the St. Louis, MO, USA area to assess the curriculum through teaching and administering pre- and post-unit tests and completing a teacher evaluation for each lesson taught. Four additional classrooms served as comparisons. Paired t tests were used for each lesson taught, to evaluate pre-/post-test and classroom differences, and focus groups were used for qualitative evaluation. There was an increase in asthma knowledge between pre- and post-tests in both grades, individually and combined (p<0.001). Intervention post-test scores were higher than comparison classroom scores (p<0.001). Teacher feedback indicated that the lessons enhanced previously learned skills and increased students overall understanding of asthma. Offering asthma education in the classroom can provide an opportunity for all students to gain asthma knowledge and build health literacy about a leading chronic disease in school-aged children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S61-S67
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Asthma
  • Elementary school
  • Integrated curriculum
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum


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