Document Type

Original Report


Medicine and Health Sciences | Other Public Health | Respiratory Tract Diseases



Introduction: The few studies on pediatric asthma in US homeless shelters describe a 27.9 – 39.8% prevalence, and historically Omaha has had a high incidence of fatal pediatric asthma. Thereby, Clarkson Family Medicine (CFM) residency began a pediatric asthma outreach to a local family-homeless shelter to assess the prevalence of pediatric asthma and follow-up appointment attendance.

Methods: We obtained a voluntary parent-child assessment of the child’s respiratory history and an Asthma Control Test (ACT) between ages 4-18 for children residing at the family-homeless shelter. We obtained a pre-albuterol and post-albuterol mobile spirometer assessment using the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines. If spirometry failed, peak-flow measurements were obtained per Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) guidelines.

Results: Nine of 25 children had active reversible airways (36%, Confidence Intervals 22-66%). One-third had a previous asthma diagnosis,20% post-peak-flow reversibility. Six of seven follow-up appointments did not show up.

Conclusion: Pediatric asthma in an Omaha homeless shelter mirrors shelters in other major US cities like New York City and Minneapolis. This study may suggest that using the Asthma Control Test with pre-albuterol and post-albuterol peak flow measurements is an acceptable screening method for pediatric asthma in family-homeless shelters.

Abbreviations: Open Door Mission (ODM), Asthma Control Test (ACT), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), United States (US), pulmonary function tests (PFT), New York City (NYC), peak expiratory flow (PEF).




asthma, pediatric, homeless, shelter, spirometry, peak flow meter, GINA

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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