Disagreement Seen Over Barriers to Kids' Daily Use of Asthma Meds

Children, caregivers, clinicians cite different barriers, including medication running out, being 'pain to take'
Children, caregivers, clinicians cite different barriers, including medication running out, being 'pain to take'

HealthDay News — Children, caregivers, and physicians report different barriers to daily use of asthma medications, according to a study published recently in the Journal of Asthma.

Carolyn M. Arnold, MPh, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted interviews with 50 publicly insured children with asthma, their caregivers, and their primary care clinicians (34 clinicians). Participating children (aged 7 to 17 years) had been prescribed daily inhaled corticosteroids and visited the emergency department for asthma during the past year. Survey questions focused on barriers to medication use.  

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The researchers found that caregivers were mostly non-Hispanic black (90%) with less than or equal to a high school education (68%). Among the triads, there was a lack of concordance regarding barriers to adherence, especially regarding medication running out, worrying about taking a daily medication, and medication being a "pain to take." Clinicians and children were more likely than caregivers to report medications running out. In addition, clinicians were more likely than children to cite controllers as being a "pain to take" and more likely than caregivers to cite forgetfulness. Qualitative data revealed competing priorities, home routines, and division of responsibility as prominent themes contributing to medication adherence.

"To tailor asthma management conversations, clinicians should understand family-specific barriers and child-caregiver disagreements," the authors write.

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