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J Natl Med Assoc. 2011 May;103(5):388-91.

Disparities in risk communication: a pilot study of asthmatic children, their parents, and home environments.

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  • 1Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15219-3130, USA.


Parents' knowledge and control of asthma triggers in home environments can help reduce risks associated with asthmatic children's respiratory health. This pilot study used both qualitative and quantitative methods to determine parental knowledge of their children's asthma triggers in home environments, control of those triggers, and information received and trusted. Twelve parents of asthmatic children in the greater Pittsburgh area--8 white and 4 African American--participated in one-on-one interviews about home exposures to asthma triggers. All parents described the link between asthma symptoms and both environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and pet dander exposures. House dust mites and mold were also commonly identified asthma triggers. All 8 white parents reported receiving information from physicians about controlling home environmental triggers of asthma, but the 4 African American parents reported having received no such information. However, all 12 parents reported having greater trust in information received from physicians than from other sources. White parents were significantly more aware of potential asthma triggers and performed significantly more actions to control the triggers in their homes. African American parents noted stressful experiences with primary and secondary care, less recall of information sharing about asthma triggers, and a focus on symptom management vs trigger avoidance.

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