“Doc, we have it really bad here,” said a teenager from Camden, New Jersey. The statement was offered during a focus group about improving care for asthmatic children in Camden. Although the questions focused on issues within the healthcare system, the children spontaneously opened the door to their world and what they perceived as critical barriers to asthma control in their community: poverty, unemployment, incarcerated parents, drug overdoses, gun violence and related deaths. “Everyone is dying around us,” one child said. The children were pointing researchers to the elephant in the room: that the tumultuous realities of day-to-day life in Camden are also a root cause of poor asthma control.
Author(s): Mahshid Abir, Jane Forman, Dawn Weist, Natasha Dravid, Aaron Truchil, Stuart Hammond, Paul Koegel
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