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Environmental factors have long been known to influence asthma symptoms. This can vary from factors like secondhand smoke, which directly triggers asthma symptoms, to more general environmental realities that can influence patients in more circuitous ways. A study published in Volume 43 of Research in Nursing & Health, examines a variety of environmental factors in Indian American families.

This cross-sectional study involved 60 American Indian mother-child dyads in South Carolina. Asthma regulation was analyzed with respect to household factors such as environmental tobacco smoke, as well as management behaviors distributed throughout the family, beyond the patients themselves. In particular, asthma management was analyzed with respect to depressive symptoms in the mothers of asthmatic patients. Linear regression was used to analyze the relationship between depression, condition management ability, and condition management effort. It was found that condition management was correlated with an absence of tobacco smoke in the home, as well as the mother’s perception of asthma as a manageable condition. It was also found that the mother’s effort to manage their child’s asthma  increased in correlation with an increase in their depressive symptoms.

While these findings are not entirely surprising, they do emphasize the way that environmental triggers of various kinds can influence conditions like asthma. This has broader implications for care modalities and treatment decisions that can intersect with mental health and other more general public health concerns. The researchers suggest that finding ways to support mothers in their treatment of their children’s asthma is one way to decrease disparities among this population group.

Exploring a broader context of the home environment and its relationship with asthma control in American Indian children
2020. Jada L. Brooks, Josephine Asafu‐Adjei, Emily G. Currin, Linda S. Beeber. 10.1002/nur.22020. Research in Nursing & Health

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