How much do school teachers know about childhood asthma in Ilesa, Nigeria?
Background: Childhood asthma is affected by events and conditions of the school environment. Teachers as de-facto caregivers of children with asthma have a major role to play in ensuring good asthma control in school. This study set out to determine the level of knowledge of school teacher about childhood asthma and factors influencing this knowledge.
Methods: Four secondary schools (two private and two public) in Ilesa, South West Nigeria were selected by multistage sampling method. All the teachers in these schools were required to fill a self -administered questionnaire incorporating a validated 40-item asthma knowledge questions. Factors associated with the level of knowledge were determined appropriately.
Results: A total of 132 teacher (M: F = 1:2) participated in the study with 85 (64.4%) from private school. The mean (SD) age of the teachers was 38.0 (9.1) years and median (IQR) years in teaching service was 7.0 (5.0 to 15.0) years. Majority (56.1%) of the teachers had university education while only 7 (5.3%) had a post graduate degree. The mean (SD) score of the 40 item questions was 21.5 (7.2) and majority (51.5%) had poor asthma knowledge (score < 22). Poorer knowledge was observed in questions related to the nature and management of childhood asthma than triggers and manifestations. No significant correlation was found between knowledge and age, teaching experience and qualifications (p > 0.05). However, teachers with previous training about childhood asthma had relatively good knowledge about the condition. (p <0.05)
Conclusion: The level of knowledge about childhood asthma among school teachers in Ilesa is poor particularly as regards to nature and management of the disease. We advocate for training of school teachers about common childhood conditions including asthma to ensure optimal symptoms control in school.
Keywords: Childhood asthma, Knowledge, School teachers