• Can summer camp improve childhood asthma management? Outcomes from Augusta Area Asthma Camp

      Flakes, Terrill; Augusta University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Childhood asthma is the most common chronic condition in the U.S., affecting 8.6% of children.1 Asthma is particularly an issue in Georgia where 16.2% of children have been diagnosed with this condition.2 Research suggests an association between pediatric asthma education and a decrease in emergency room visits and hospitalizations, and improved quality of life (QOL).3,4 The Augusta Area Asthma Camp, a free week-long educational day camp, was created to address a critical need for asthma education in the community by increasing parent and child knowledge and self-management of asthma symptoms while providing typical summer camp activities in a safe environment. Yet camp effectiveness has not been evaluated. This study explored differences in parent and child related asthma outcomes before and after attending Asthma Camp. Methods: In summer 2016, children attending Asthma Camp along with their parents/legal guardian were consented and asked to complete pre- and post-camp surveys that collected information about asthma control, education, self-management of symptoms, and physical activity. Paired samples t-tests were used to determine pre- and post-camp differences. Results: Children (n=43) ranged from 6-13 years (M=8.53, SD=1.80) with the majority Black (65.1%), male (62.8%), from single parent (41.5%), low-income (73.1%), and nonsmoking households (84.65%). Child asthma education scores were low both before (65%, SD=0.22) and after (69%,SD=0.11) camp. Children reported a significant increase in the number of physically active days/week pre (M=3.66, SD=1.99) to post (M=5.48,SD=1.33) camp t(28)=-4.14,p=0.00. While we noticed slight improvement in child symptoms (preM=5.38,SD=1.30; postM=5.66,SD=1.24), activity limitations (preM=5.90,SD=1.16; postM=6.01,SD=1.13), emotional function (preM=5.57,SD=1.68; postM=5.68,SD= 1.84), and total QOL (preM=5.47,SD=1.25; postM=5.76,SD=1.24) and parent management strategies (preM=3.19,SD=0.52; postM=3.31,SD=0.92) and support (preM=0.50,SD=0.57; postM=0.55,SD=0.59), differences were not statistically significant. Conclusions: Asthma camp can increase child physical activity and shows promise for improving asthma education, self-management, and parental support. A larger sample and more sensitive measures may improve our ability to detect changes in the participants.
    • Educational attainment and self-rated health among African-Americans in Pitt County, NC

      Chandrasekar, Eeshwar; Banta, Zimo; Ragan, Kathleen; Schmitz, Michelle; James, Sherman; Emory University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2016)
      Background: To help fill the knowledge gap regarding relationships between educational attainment and self-rated health (SRH) in minority populations, we analyzed the data of a community-based cohort of African-Americans residing in Pitt County, NC, between 1988 and 2001. Methods: Data from the Pitt County Study (a community-based, longitudinal survey of risk factors for hypertension and related disorders disproportionately affecting African-Americans) were used to explore associations between educational attainment and SRH, stratified by sex, in a cohort of individuals from 1988 (n=1,773), 1993 (n=1,195), and 2001 (n=1,117) using continuous, ordinal, and binary correlated data analyses. Results: For males and females with less than a high school education, the odds of reporting poor or fair health (compared to excellent, very good, or good health) were 2.75 (95% CI: 1.54-4.91) and 1.78 (95% CI: 1.15-2.75) times greater, respectively, than among those who completed a college degree or higher. Conclusions: Across all analyses, individuals with lower educational attainment reported lower SRH scores, and the association differed by sex. Social support may be a factor in these differences. More research is needed, however, to assess relationships between educational attainment, social support, and SRH for African-Americans and other minority populations.
    • A review of strategies to increase access to oral health services

      Davis, Breyana; Plasphol, Sara; Armstrong State University (Georgia Public Health Association, 2017)
      Background: Leading Health Indicators (LHIs), a subset of objectives for Healthy People 2020, were selected to communicate at-risk health issues and actions that can be taken to address them. Nationally, the number of children, adolescents, and adults who visited the dentist in the past year has decreased, suggesting that oral health continues to be a problem caused by barriers preventing access to oral health services. This review aimed to identify strategies to increase access to oral health services that will be useful in moving toward the LHI objectives. Methods: Preliminary research was conducted on the LHI via the Healthy People 2020 website. Health-related, peer-reviewed articles were selected and evaluated to determine current strategies used to increase access to oral health services that would lead to achievement of the LHI objectives. Results: Evidenced-based literature shows that economic, educational, and personal barriers prevent access to oral health services. Through health promotion and educational interventions, however, good oral health can be established. Such improvements will lead to attaining the LHI objectives in moving towards the target goals of Healthy People 2020. Conclusions: Since primary prevention and early intervention procedures lead to improved oral health, such methods can be useful in reaching the LHI objectives and the target goal of Healthy People 2020.
    • Social and behavioral implications of National Collegiate Athletic Association sickle cell trait screening: The athletes’ perspective

      Lawrence, H Raymona; Scott, Alison; Haywood, Carlton; Robinson, Kayin; Mason, Mondi; Georgia Southern University, The College of William and Mary, Johns Hopkins University, University of Georgia, City and County of Denver Department of Environmental Health (Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association, 2015)
      Background: In August 2010, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) implemented a policy mandating sickle cell trait (SCT) testing for all Division I collegiate athletes. Subsequently, all Division II-III athletes were also compelled to undergo SCT testing. This decision has met with controversy among healthcare providers, researchers, and sickle cell advocates. However, there is little information concerning the athletes’ perspective of this policy. The purpose of this paper is to report the findings of a qualitative study that explored college athletes’ perceptions of sickle cell trait SCT, NCAA policies on SCT testing, and potential implications of SCT screening. Methods: The participants were eighteen male and female athletes (ages 18-24), members of NCAA-governed teams who were on the study campus from April-August 2010. Athletes participated in focus groups that gathered their perceptions of the SCT, the NCAA SCT policy, and social and behavioral implications of a SCT diagnosis. Results: Athletes lacked knowledge of the SCT and the implications of a positive screening test result, desired health education about SCT, were conflicted about sharing health information, and feared loss of playing time if found to carry the SCT. Conclusions: The study revealed athletes’ perceptions of the SCT and mandated NCAA SCT testing that should be addressed by college health professionals.