Cross-sectional population based study examining the impact of children with asthma on US rural families


Introduction: Approximately 7.1 million US children have asthma. The burden of asthma is disproportionate with ruralUSpopulations experiencing a higher prevalence of the disease. Rural populations experience additional disparities regarding health care access, job availability, and daily living resources. Hence, the family impact of having a child with asthma may be influenced by geographic locale. This impact could be a result of health insurance tied to employment, out of pocket costs, and health care provider availability. Few studies have assessed the impact a child’s asthma has on a family. This study sought to answer the question: What is the impact of children with asthma on US rural families? Methods: Multivariate techniques were performed to examine a single year of data from two connected population-based datasets, the 2007-2008 National Survey of Children’s Health and the 2009-2010 Children with Special Health Care Needs Survey. Children with current asthma defined the study population for both datasets. A logistic regression model was performed for each database. The dependent variable for the first model was child in family currently has asthma, for the second it was rural children with current asthma. Results: The first logistic regression model confirmed that rural children were more likely to have asthma than non-rural children. The second logistic regression model yielded that rural families with a child diagnosed with asthma had greater odds of: not having health insurance, having a parent who stopped working, avoided a job change, or experienced financial problems because of the child’s health. Conclusions: This study demonstrated that rural families experience a disproportionate financial hardship as a result of their child’s asthma. Pharmacist intervention in asthma care in rural areas has the potential to decrease the financial burden for a family while also improving a child’s health.

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Palombi, L. , Lutfiyya, M. , Pederson, K. , Simmons, D. , Steenerson, D. , Hohman, K. and Huot, K. (2013) Cross-sectional population based study examining the impact of children with asthma on US rural families. Health, 5, 351-359. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.52A047.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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