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April 1989

Determinants of School Performance in Children With Chronic Asthma

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Education and Pediatrics, National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, and the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver. Dr Strunk is now with the Department of Pediatrics, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo.

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(4):471-475. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150160101020

• We have documented performance on standardized academic achievement tests for reading and mathematics in 99 children with moderately severe to severe chronic asthma. Academic performance and intelligence test scores indicated that, overall, the academic capabilities of the children with asthma were average to above average. A stepwise regression analysis was used to examine relationships between the dependent variables of reading and mathematics and the independent variables of socioeconomic status, school attendance, medical factors relating to asthma, age, and emotional and behavioral problems of the children. Factors that were associated significantly with low performance scores were low socioeconomic status, older age, history of continuous oral steroid use (prednisone or methyl prednisolone taken at least every other day for the year prior to evaluation), and presence of emotional and behavioral problems. School absenteeism, use of medical resources, oral steroid dosage, other medications used to treat asthma, and pulmonary functions were not associated with academic performance. Investigation of poor classroom performance of a child with chronic asthma should include investigation of the roles of socioeconomic status, oral steroid therapy, and emotional and behavioral problems.

(AJDC. 1989;143:471-475)

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