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1.  Life Events, Chronic Stressors, and Depressive Symptoms in Low-Income Urban Mothers With Asthmatic Children 
The purpose of this secondary data analysis was to examine the relationship of individual sociodemographic variables, life events, chronic stressors including asthma control and management and environmental stressors to maternal depression.
Cross sectional descriptive design study consisting of baseline data from participants enrolled in a randomized clinical trial of an asthma communication educational intervention.
Two hundred and one mothers of children with asthma (ages 6-12) recruited from community pediatric practices and pediatric emergency departments of two urban university hospitals. Measurement: Subjects responded to a questionnaire that included sociodemographic characteristics, life events, and chronic stressors. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the CESD.
Close to 25% of the mothers had a score of 16 or greater on the CESD. Significant bivariate relationships between low education, unemployment, feeling unsafe, and the use of quick relief asthma drugs with high depressive symptoms were found. In the multiple logistic regression models, education or unemployment (in separate models) and the use of quick relief medications for asthma were positively associated with depressive symptoms.
Implications for practice include the need to assess for the presence of maternal depression particularly in mothers of children with a chronic illness such as asthma.
PMCID: PMC4334657  PMID: 19573208
asthma; depressive symptoms; mothers; chronic illness
2.  Factors Associated with Second Hand Smoke Exposure In Young Inner City Children with Asthma 
To examine the association of social and environmental factors with levels of second hand smoke (SHS) exposure, as measured by salivary cotinine, in young inner city children with asthma.
We used data drawn from a home-based behavioral intervention for young high risk children with persistent asthma post emergency department (ED) treatment (N=198). SHS exposure was measured by salivary cotinine and caregiver report. Caregiver demographic and psychological functioning, household smoking behavior and asthma morbidity were compared with child cotinine concentrations. Chi-square and ANOVA tests and multivariate regression models were used to determine the association between cotinine concentrations with household smoking behavior and asthma morbidity.
Over half (53%) of the children had cotinine levels compatible with SHS exposure and mean cotinine concentrations were high at 2.42 ng/ml (SD 3.2). The caregiver was the predominant smoker in the home (57%) and (63%) reported a total home smoking ban. Preschool age children, and those with caregivers reporting depressive symptoms and high stress had higher cotinine concentrations than their counterparts. Among children living in a home with a total home smoking ban, younger children had significantly higher mean cotinine concentration than older children (Cotinine: 3–5 year olds, 2.24 ng/ml (SD 3.5); 6–10 year olds, 0.63 ng/ml (SD 1.0); p <0.05). In multivariate models, the factors most strongly associated with high child cotinine concentrations were increased number of household smokers (β = 0.24) and younger child age (3–5 years) (β = 0.23; P <0.001, R2 = 0.35).
Over half of young inner-city children with asthma were exposed to second hand smoke and caregivers are the predominant household smoker. Younger children and children with depressed and stressed caregivers are at significant risk of smoke exposures, even when a household smoking ban is reported. Further advocacy for these high-risk children is needed to help caregivers quit and to mitigate smoke exposure.
PMCID: PMC3113681  PMID: 21545248
asthma; children; cotinine; second hand smoke
3.  Improving Asthma Communication in High-Risk Children 
Few child asthma studies address the specific content and techniques needed to enhance child communication during asthma preventive care visits. This study examined the content of child and parent communications regarding their asthma management during a medical encounter with their primary care provider (PCP). The majority of parents and children required prompting to communicate symptom information to the PCP during the clinic visit. Some high-risk families may require an asthma advocate to ensure that the clinician receives an accurate report of child’s asthma severity and asthma control to ensure prescribing of optimal asthma therapy.
PMCID: PMC2275667  PMID: 17994404
childhood asthma; communication educational intervention; prompting

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