Reducing Health Disparities In Pediatric Asthma
Asthma is a prevalent and chronic disease that significantly impacts the lives of increasing numbers of children and families each year. Estimates suggest that as many as 339 million people worldwide suffer from asthma – it is now the most common pediatric chronic disease. The burden of asthma on the child and family is high, multi-factorial, and complex. For many of these children, significant health disparities exist, worsening their health outcomes, as well as their morbidity and mortality rates. Children in the United States who are especially negatively impacted by asthma include those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and/or are African American. Racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors must be considered to gain a thorough understanding of the depth and breadth of the issue. In addition, nurses practicing within the United States must understand relevant health policies that affect these children and families. Examples of such health policies include Healthy People 2020, the Affordable Care Act of 2010, Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Clean Air Act, and the Public Health Law Program. Nurses are instrumental in effecting change through the use of evidence-based practice, implementation of current practice guidelines, enhancing collaboration within and across health care settings, communicating with legislators, and being involved with professional nursing organizations.
Lisa K. Woodley