Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Yankey

Third Advisor

Dr. Alex Kirpich


INTRODUCTION: Asthma is a chronic lifelong condition that cannot be cured; however, it can be effectively controlled in most cases with medication. One of the most significant asthma treatment challenges is the multi-factorial nature of the disease and the complexity of current treatment protocols which contribute to a lack of medication use and the need for ongoing asthma education.

AIM: To examine (a) the prevalence of medication use and asthma education to the severity of asthma outcomes (b) whether any demographic characteristics are associated with differing rates of asthma severity, medication use and asthma education.

METHODS: Datasets (National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) [2008, 2013, 2018]), were combined to increase the number of observations of sample children. Children below the age of 18 were the target population; children who were diagnosed with asthma within this group were the focus of the examination. An asthma severity scale was created as a proxy, based on asthma outcomes. A comparison of outcomes to rates of medical adherence and asthma education was conducted to determine the rates of each.

RESULTS: Children with higher levels of asthma severity tended to have higher response rates for medication use as well as asthma education. Non-Hispanic black children had higher rates of severe asthma outcomes (8.27% [5.14%, 11.40%]) compared to non-Hispanic white children (3.32% [1.74%, 4.90%]).

CONCLUSION: Race, age groups, mother’s education, income, and insurance status were all related with poor asthma outcomes, medication use, asthma education and access to medical services. While medication use and asthma education appear to be negatively associated with asthma severity in these cross-sectional data, a longitudinal study is needed to determine their true significance.


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