This study sought to investigate parents' needs and preferences for school-based asthma support in Saudi Arabian primary schools.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted in the period between November 2015 and February 2016, with a convenience sample that comprised Saudi parents and carers of children with asthma. Recruitment of participants was primarily driven through Saudi primary schools; passive snowballing and social networks were used to boost participation rates further. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, translated and data were thematically organised using a latent content analysis approach.
Twenty interviews were conducted. Six themes emerged from the interviews and were grouped into three major categories: (1) general asthma management issues; (2) school-based asthma management issues; and (3) communication dissatisfaction. Participants expressed concern at schools' social and physical environments and a lack of confidence in the ability of schools to manage their child's asthma, especially when their child was ill. Most of the participants advocated for staff training and school community engagement to improve the management of asthma in Saudi primary schools.
This research clearly describes a need for school-based asthma support, including asthma-related policies, procedures and education on asthma and first aid in Saudi primary schools.