Half of parents of children with asthma fully understand the use of their child’s asthma medications, according to new research.
A survey of parents of 740 children with probable persistent asthma found just 49 percent knew what kind of medication their child was prescribed and how often to use it. Following recommended guidelines is key to controlling asthma symptoms, experts say.
“Adherence to the guidelines has demonstrated improved outcomes: decreased hospitalizations, emergency department visits and outpatient visits,” said study primary author Dr Ann Chen Wu, of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute in Boston.
Parents were asked which asthma controller medications their child was prescribed and how often they should be taken. Responses were compared to instructions from their child’s health care provider.
Records showed that 77 percent of the children were supposed to use inhaled corticosteroids, 22 percent were to take leukotriene antagonists and 1 in 10 were to take a combination of inhaled corticosteroids and long-acting beta agonists such as Advair.
But deviations from the doctor’s directions were common. For instance, nearly 30 percent of kids prescribed inhaled corticosteroids — an important preventive measure — weren’t taking them as directed.