PURPOSE: Not One More Life (NOML) is a volunteer advocacy organization whose mission is to partner with communities of faith to provide asthma screening and education to help reduce the negative impact of the disease. Using this program, we sought to determine if asthma screening and education in faith-based institutions on Long Island would improve asthma control by facilitating access to healthcare.
METHODS: Participants spanning four NOML programs filled out a symptom-based questionnaire, underwent spirometry to assess lung function, and discussed the meaning of the results with one of the team physicians. Individuals screening positive for asthma (i.e., via questionnaire, spirometry or both) were contacted one month later. The primary outcome was to determine the participants' follow-up with either a primary care physician or asthma specialist as a result of the screening. Secondary outcomes included the number of asthma-related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and missed days from school or work.
RESULTS: 120 participants have been screened to date. The average age was 36.2 years (range 5-80); 49% were male, 3% were white, 20% black and 72% of Hispanic origin. 57% (n=69) reported having a primary care physician for regular care. 25% (n=30) had been given a previous diagnosis of asthma, and of these only 10% (n=3) had seen an asthma specialist. 62.5% (n=75) screened positive for asthma. Two of four programs have passed the one month mark since the screening, and of the 41 screen-positive participants from these programs who gave consent, 27 (66%) were contacted. 41% of the participants (n=11) contacted a healthcare provider directly as a result of the screening program. ED visits, hospitalizations, and missed days from school or work were rare.
CONCLUSION: A large number of participants screened positive for asthma. We were able to impact nearly half of them to seek help and guidance from a health care provider.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Faith-based institutions are well organized and serve as ideal venues for asthma screening.
DISCLOSURE: Roopa Siddaiah, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information