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Penn Nursing > Science in Action
Science in Action: Specialization Areas
Self-Management of Chronic Diseases
Posted August 2010

Lack of sensitivity in treating minority asthma patients

As a young nurse in urban settings, Maureen George became disturbed by the continued visits to the hospital by poor minority asthma patients.  After all, she thought, there were good treatments for asthma and it should be easy for patients to keep up with them on their own.   “The hospital staff kept blaming the patients for their asthma getting worse, but I thought there was something more that could be done,” said George, an Assistant Professor of Family and Community Health  in the Center for Health Equity Research.  So she started interviewing the patients to see how they were handling the disease.  Eventually, she found that the minority and poor patients tended to self-manage their disease independent of what the doctors might tell them beyond the predictable barriers posed ...
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