The purpose of this needs assessment was to study the current state of asthma management in high-risk children in Houston, Texas to inform a theory-based approach to improving asthma management. The mixed-method assessment included multi-sectoral survey, quantitative, and geospatial data that address a range of social and community factors in family, community, home, and medical contexts. Houston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) provided ambulance-treated asthma data mapped by geographic area to identify where childhood asthma management was weakest. Texas Children’s Health Plan (TCHP) provided medication compliance rates and counts of children by zip code that TCHP considered high-risk according to claims data. Houston Independent School District (HISD) provided school nurse survey results from schools with high-rates of ambulance-treated asthma attacks regarding local barriers to asthma management. Elementary schools with children at highest risk were identified by overlaying the EMS data, TCHP data, and HISD school zone boundaries. Survey results from the high-rate schools indicate the priority challenges to childhood asthma management, including lack of resources, lack of communication, lack of knowledge of triggers, and inadequate time for quality care from providers. By weaving together EMS, TCHP, and HISD data, the needs assessment informed a socio-ecological view of gaps in high-risk childhood asthma management and control, specifically where and what to target. An assessment approach with multi-sectoral data, geospatial mapping, nurse input, current systems of care, education, and funding helped focus planning on a practical approach to asthma control solutions for high-risk children.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License