Understanding of Asthma Management: Caregiver/Patient Knowledge

Understanding of Asthma Management: Caregiver/Patient KnowledgeOthers remained stressed or overwhelmed by their child’s asthma: “I get nervous, I’m still not used to it, so I run to the doctor a lot. I don’t know if I’m giving too much medicine, the right medicine. You know, sometimes they treat me like I ought to know but I don’t know!” further
Unfortunately, some parents did not have asthma management plans, which provided them less support to deal with their child’s illness and their fears. Some parents expressed low self-efficacy in execution of management strategies needed to treat their child’s symptoms. The caregiver’s emotions appeared to play an important role in the delivery of asthma care but could be positively affected by a supportive relationship with the medical provider.
Whether or not caregivers had received asthma education, they expressed a desire for continuous educational information on medications, asthma triggers, and symptoms. Caregivers were aware of appropriate care strategies including attempts to recognize signs of worsening symptoms and when to seek acute care. Likewise, instruction for proper use of medical equipment was needed: “But when you say asthma treatment, it is also asthma education, you know what I’m saying? Like when you’re released from the hospital someone brings over a breathing machine, says this is how you work it and goodbye, good luck! That’s it!”
Parents also voiced the importance of gaining knowledge of medication side effects, such as their impact on the child’s weight gain and hyperactive behavior. Parents of children who were obese or overactive most often referred to medication side effects. Parents who felt more at ease and adopted a care “routine” also verbalized the importance of recognizing triggers, early onset of asthma symptoms, and the importance of remaining calm while providing care for their child. Most caregivers were aware of the potential effect that environmental triggers such as smoke, pollen, smog, stress, pets, household chemicals, and allergies can have on a child, and the majority said they had adopted indoor environmental changes in their households to avoid an asthma episode or symptoms. This awareness was attributed to physician care and education made available to parents.

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