Asthma Basics for Children (ABC)

An Evidence-Based Practice


Funded by CDC’s Controlling Asthma in America’s Cities Project, this multi-level intervention sought to provide a preschool-based asthma management program for children in New York City. The program consisted of the following components: 1) training early childhood center staff about asthma basics, identification and management, 2) identifying children with asthma via a parent questionnaire, 3) providing two 1-hour asthma education workshops for parents and supplemental education activities, 4) educating children about asthma signs and triggers through games, activities and video, 5) reducing asthma triggers at the centers by training teachers as well as janitorial and kitchen staff, and 6) inviting parent-identified physicians to enroll in a quarterly Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE) 4-hour training, as well as providing these clinicians with additional tools for working with parents.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the program was to provide a multi-layered asthma management program for parents, children, and staff of early childhood centers.

Results / Accomplishments

From 2003 to 2008, 31 early childhood centers from communities with high rates of early childhood asthma hospitalization enrolled in the program. Of the 871 parents enrolled in the program, 85% reported reducing triggers for their child and 80% felt confident in their ability to manage their child’s asthma. When compared to baseline data, parents at follow-up reported a decrease in daytime and nighttime symptoms, daycare absences, asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits, and asthma-related hospitalizations (p<0.001 for all).

Children who had more exposure to the ABC program because of parent and/or physician participation had the best outcomes. For example, children who did not have a parent or physician participate did not have a significant decrease in asthma-related ED visits in the previous 6 months (p=0.108). In comparison, children whose parent or physician participated did have a significant decrease in these ED visits (p<0.001 for parent and p=0.001 for physician).

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Sally Findley, PhD, MURP, MA
Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Heatlh
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University
60 Haven Avenue #B2
New York, New York 10032
Health / Respiratory Diseases
Health / Children's Health
Education / Childcare & Early Childhood Education
Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health
Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine
Date of publication
Feb 2011
Date of implementation
Geographic Type
New York, NY
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Target Audience