Asthma medications in schools: a cross-sectional analysis of the Asthma Call-back Survey 2017-2018

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CONTEXT: Asthma is the most common chronic disease affecting children in the United States. Goals for asthma management include symptom control, the ability to maintain a normal activity level, and minimizing adverse events.

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to analyze the number of children with asthma that are permitted to carry medications at school and without an asthma action plan.

METHODS: In this study, we analyzed the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Asthma Call-back Survey (ACBS) to assess the prevalence of children in school allowed to carry medication and with asthma action plans. Utilizing the sampling weights provided, we estimated population prevalence by age group and urbanicity.

RESULTS: Results showed that, overall, 34.8% of students reported they were not allowed to carry asthma medications in school. Specifically, nearly 51% of children ages 5 to 9 and 33% of children ages 10 to 14 were reported not to be allowed to carry medications at school. Further, 58.2% of children did not have a written asthma action plan. Reported urbanicity was not significantly associated with access to medication at school (p=0.46) or having an asthma action plan (p=0.57).

CONCLUSIONS: In our study, more than one-third of students were not permitted to carry asthma medications and nearly three-fifths did not have a written asthma action plan. Therefore, we recommend partnerships between schools, healthcare professionals, students, and osteopathic family physicians to increase access to asthma action plans and medication in schools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Osteopathic Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Child
  • Humans
  • United States/epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Asthma/drug therapy
  • Schools


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