Asthma Environmental Intervention Guide for School-Based Health Centers
The purpose of this guide is to support school-based health center staff in leading or supporting evidence-based strategies and promising practices to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers. Although there is a broad array of evidence-based interventions to address asthma triggers, many people with asthma continue to be exposed to the factors that make their asthma worse. School-based health centers (SBHCs) are uniquely positioned to address this gap in order to help children breathe easier. While many SBHCs across the country are already playing a key role in helping students manage their asthma by providing quality clinical care and education there is an opportunity for SBHCs to also be leaders in managing the environmental factors that make asthma worse.
The guide describes the relationship between asthma and a number of environmental asthma triggers and shares scientific evidence that SBHC staff can cite when educating others on the need to address environmental asthma triggers. This is followed by five sections each tackling a strategy, or broad category of intervention, that SBHC staff could lead or support. They include:
- Case Management
- Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools
- Improving the Students’ Home Environments
- Improving Outdoor Air Quality Around the School and Community
Each section provides an overview of the type of intervention, points to specific tools and resources, and suggests how SBHC staff can lead or support implementation. The array of interventions is intended to serve as a “menu” from which SBHC can choose depending on their interests, resources, and the particular needs of their patient population. While a comprehensive approach that works across settings and utilizes multiple strategies is likely most effective for reducing the burden of asthma, any step that SBHCs can take to reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers will help students breathe easier. Reading this guide is the first step!