School Nurse Perspectives on School-Supervised Asthma Therapy: A Qualitative Study

Pediatr Allergy Immunol Pulmonol. 2022 Jun;35(2):65-73. doi: 10.1089/ped.2022.0022.


Background: School-supervised asthma therapy improves asthma outcomes for children, yet this strategy is not widely utilized. School nurses play a vital role in this intervention, yet their perspectives on school-supervised asthma therapy have not been thoroughly examined. Objectives: To examine the perspectives of school nurses participating in school-supervised asthma therapy and identify key facilitators, barriers, and proposed solutions that will facilitate the uptake of this strategy. Methods: We used purposeful sampling to recruit 12 school nurses participating in Asthma Link, a real-world application of school-supervised asthma therapy, between 2017 and 2019. We performed semistructured interviews with school nurses to elicit their perspectives on the facilitators, barriers, and proposed solutions to barriers to Asthma Link implementation. Interview transcripts were analyzed using qualitative descriptive methodology to identify major themes. Results: School nurses identified facilitators for Asthma Link adoption, including the ease of integrating supervised therapy into school nurse routines, recognition of benefits for families with limited resources, and satisfaction participating in preventive care. School nurses identified barriers, including communication challenges with families and providers, families not reliably bringing medication to school, limited nursing staff in schools, and increased school nurse turnover. School nurses proposed specific solutions to these barriers, including appointing Asthma Link liaisons within pediatric practices, incentivizing families to bring medicine to school, and partnering new school nurses with those experienced in delivering Asthma Link to overcome staffing issues and promote program fidelity. Conclusions: School nurse perspectives on the facilitators, barriers, and solutions to barriers are important for understanding how to promote real-world implementation of school-supervised asthma therapy. The themes identified in this study will be utilized to refine our protocol for Asthma Link to facilitate real-world adoption of this evidence-based strategy.

Keywords: asthma; asthma intervention; childhood asthma; pediatric asthma; school-based asthma; school-based intervention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Asthma* / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Educational Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research
  • Schools