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J Pediatr Health Care. 2003 May-Jun;17(3):118-25.

Parental perceptions of their child's asthma: management and medication use.

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SUNY College at Brockport, New York, USA.



Adequate treatment for asthma depends on accurate assessment and intervention by the parent and child and timely communication with the provider. These actions by the parent may be affected by their understanding of asthma management and their concerns about medications being prescribed. This research reports parental experiences with their children with asthma, specifically their beliefs, knowledge, and attitudes about asthma management, including medication use.


Data reported are from a study investigating parental attitudes and beliefs affecting antiinflammatory medication use in childhood asthma. These qualitative findings emerged from one-on-one semistructured qualitative interviews with 18 parents of children 2 to 18 years of age who were from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds and who represented the spectrum of illness severity.


Eight main themes within the domain of asthma management and medication use were identified: "I know my child," "trial and error," "partnership," "need for education," "negotiating responsibility," "hassles with medication administration," "preferences," and "the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects."


These themes emphasize parents' need to partner with providers in their child's asthma management, as well as their need for ongoing asthma education. Parents also expressed concern about adverse effects of antiinflammatory medication but acknowledged the importance of controlling asthma symptoms. Based on these findings, systematic practice changes are recommended that provide regular opportunities for parent and child asthma education in a structured asthma wellness or "tune-up" visit.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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