School staff’s, healthcare professionals’ and policymakers’ views of asthma and school-based asthma programme for primary school children: A qualitative study in Malaysia

  • Kamilla Ramdzan (Universiti Malaya) (Creator)
  • Ee Ming Khoo (Creator)
  • Su May Liew (Creator)
  • Steve Cunningham (Creator)
  • Hilary Pinnock (Creator)
  • Moni Choudhury (Data Manager)



21 pdf files (de-identified transcripts and participants’ characteristics)
## Access ##
This dataset is held in the Edinburgh DataVault, directly accessible only to authorised University of Edinburgh users. Academic researchers may request access, and will be required to sign a data sharing agreement.


Asthma is the commonest non-communicable disease among children potentially requiring urgent treatment during school hours, an important exemplar for school-based programmes. We conducted a qualitative study aimed to explore the views of school staff, healthcare professionals and policymakers, about asthma and school asthma programmes for primary school children. Purposive sampling was used to obtain diverse views from stakeholders in the education and health sectors in Malaysia. We used piloted semi-structured topic guides to conduct focus groups and individual interviews and completed data collection until we reached data saturation. The focus groups and interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Fifty-two participants (40 school staff, 9 healthcare professionals and 3 policymakers) contributed to nine focus groups and eleven individual interviews. The data in the Datavault contains 20 de-identified original transcripts and one de-identified file containing the characteristics of participants. We translated Malay (source language) to English and provided both languages in the transcripts.

From our analysis, we found that school staff had limited awareness of asthma and first-aid asthma treatments. There was no guidance on asthma management in government schools, and teachers were unclear about their role in school children’s health. These uncertainties led to delays in treating asthma symptoms/attacks, and participants suggested that an asthma education programme and a school plan would improve asthma care. Perceived challenges in conducting school health programmes included a busy school schedule and poor parental participation. A tailored asthma programme developed in partnership with schools and health services could facilitate adoption/ and implementation. In conclusion, identifying and addressing issues and challenges specific to the school and broader community would facilitate a school asthma programme in line with the WHO School Health Initiative. Clarity over national policy on the role and responsibilities of school staff could support implementation and guide appropriate and prompt response to asthma emergencies in schools.
Date made available31 May 2021
PublisherEdinburgh DataVault
Temporal coverage1 Apr 2019 - 31 Dec 2020
Date of data production1 Apr 2019 - 31 Dec 2020
Geographical coverageMalaysia

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