More than two million people have asthma in Saudi Arabia: 13% aged 6-10 years. Asthma is one of the most common childhood illnesses. Little has been explored about children’s ability to learn more about their own asthma in Saudi Arabia. The study was designed to assess the impact of a school-based, nurse-delivered asthma health education program on asthmatic children’s knowledge and attitude toward asthma, quality of life, anxiety level, and school absenteeism. A quasi-experimental, non-equivalent group, pretest-posttest design was used. The education program was developed from existing evidence. The Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire, Spence Anxiety Tool, Asthma Knowledge Questionnaire, and Asthma Attitude Questionnaire were employed for data collection. Intervention (n = 130) and control (n = 98) groups were drawn from 10 schools in Ha’il region, Saudi Arabia. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to examine differences within and between groups. Knowledge of asthma increased significantly more in the intervention group than in the control group. Attitude toward asthma was not changed by the intervention. Anxiety scores reverted to pretest level by posttest II. The intervention group had significantly better total quality of life scores than the control group, and school absenteeism reduced significantly after the delivery of the program. It was concluded that the asthma education program impacted positively on students’ knowledge, quality of life, and school attendance. However, asthma education did not change attitudes toward the condition, and the impact on anxiety was not persistent. The results emphasize the benefits of the provision of health education directly to children. Asthma education should be integrated into the Saudi national child health program.
About The Expert
Nashi Masnad Alreshidi