Family management of asthma in Head Start preschool children

Monica A. Lu, Thomas Eckmann, Elizabeth Ruvalcaba, Elizabeth L. McQuaid, Cynthia S. Rand, Kristin A. Riekert, Michelle N. Eakin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Urban minority preschool children are disproportionately affected by asthma with increased asthma morbidity and mortality. It is important to understand how families manage asthma in preschool children to improve asthma control. Objective: To evaluate family asthma management and asthma outcomes among a low-income urban minority population of Head Start preschool children. Methods: The family asthma management system scale (FAMSS) evaluates how families manage a child's asthma. A total of 388 caregivers completed the FAMSS at baseline. Asthma outcomes were evaluated at baseline and prospectively at 6 months, including asthma control (based on the Test for Respiratory and Asthma Control in Kids), courses of oral corticosteroids (OCSs) required, and caregiver health-related quality of life (Pediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire [PACQLQ]). Multiple regression models evaluated the relationship between the FAMSS total score, FAMSS subscales, and asthma outcomes. Results: Higher FAMSS total scores were associated with fewer courses of OCSs required (b = −0.23, P < .01) and higher PACQLQ scores (b = 0.07, P < .05). At baseline, higher integration subscale scores (b = −0.19, P < .05) were associated with fewer courses of OCSs required, and higher family response scores were associates with higher PACQLQ scores (b = 0.06, P < .05). Nevertheless, higher collaboration scores were associated with lower PACQLQ at baseline (b = −0.06, P < .05) and 6 months (b = −0.07, P < .05). Conclusion: Among this population of low-income minority preschool children, understanding how a family manages their child's asthma may help identify gaps for education to possibly improve caregiver asthma-related quality of life and reduce courses of OCSs. Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT01519453 (; protocol available from

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-183
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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