To identify and compare how school nurses in Reykjavik, Iceland and St. Paul, Minnesota coordinated care for youth with asthma (ages 10-18) and to develop an asthma school nurse care coordination model.
Little is known about how school nurses coordinate care for youth with asthma in different countries.
A qualitative descriptive study design using focus group data.
Six focus groups with 32 school nurses were conducted in Reykjavik (n = 17) and St. Paul (n = 15) using the same protocol between September 2008 and January 2009. Descriptive content analytic and constant comparison strategies were used to categorize and compare how school nurses coordinated care, which resulted in the development of an International School Nurse Asthma Care Coordination Model.
Participants in both countries spontaneously described a similar asthma care coordination process that involved information gathering, assessing risk for asthma episodes, prioritizing healthcare needs and anticipating and planning for student needs at the individual and school levels. This process informed how they individualized symptom management, case management and/or asthma education. School nurses played a pivotal part in collaborating with families, school and healthcare professionals to ensure quality care for youth with asthma.
Results indicate a high level of complexity in school nurses' approaches to asthma care coordination that were responsive to the diverse and changing needs of students in school settings. The conceptual model derived provides a framework for investigators to use in examining the asthma care coordination process of school nurses in other geographic locations.
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