A Comparison of Knowledge about Asthma Between Asians and Non-Asians at Two Pediatric Clinics
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Little is known about the relative knowledge of asthma in recent immigrant Asian populations in the United States (US). To comparatively assess asthma knowledge for Asian and non-Asian populations, 333 parents and children were surveyed at two geographically close urban clinics that had a large percentage of Asian patients, most of whom were Chinese. The Asian respondents scored lower compared to the non-Asian respondents on 4 of the 6 knowledge questions (p < 0.001). Subcategories of non-Asians (white, African-American, Hispanic) were more similar to each other than they were to Asians. In multivariate analysis we found that SES (measured as parental occupation) and being Asian were independent predictors of less asthma knowledge. Having family members with asthma did not improve knowledge scores. A single focus group of Cantonese-speaking parents of asthmatic children suggested that a combination of cultural factors and lack of knowledge contribute to lower knowledge scores in this Asian population. Asthma education programs need to be developed, tailored to recent Asian immigrants and tested for efficacy.
KeywordsAsian Americans Asthma Knowledge Chinese Americans Socio economic status
The authors wish to thank South Cove Community Health Center, Eugene Welch and the doctors, nurses and staff including Roland Tang, MD., Vivian Tsuei, MD., Sherrie Zhang, MD., Ingrid Henar, MD., MPH, Chia-Mei Lu, Irene Chin, Chung He, Qi-Long Fun, Yanty Leung, Shu Lin and Wendy Wong. We would also like to thank Lynn Porter, MD of Tufts-New England Medical Center. We are grateful to the parents and children who participated in our surveys. We thank Lian Lian for her expertise in translating our questionnaires and Elaine Tse, MD., and Karen Lee for backtranslation services. We would like to thank Cato Hui, Carrie Hui and Connie Man for their assistance. Robyn Greenfield provided helpful comments on the manuscript. This project was funded by the Tufts University College of Citizenship and Public Service.
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