Understanding of Asthma Management: Study

In order for families to be compliant with antiinflammatory care, they need to understand proper use of such medications, have their questions regarding potential undesirable side effects addressed, and believe (outcome expectancy) that administering this chronic medication to their child will decrease asthma symptoms and improve health. When providers communicate this information well, patients use fewer acute care services and miss less school. More info
Like all children, these Medicaid-insured patients spend at least 6 to 8 h/d at school. The children are dependent on the school system to provide supervision and care for their asthma, which is a reasonable point of concern for parents. Many states including Michigan have policies that allow students to carry their own medication and self-medicate as necessary. A lack of awareness by teachers and school personnel of asthma was frustrating for the focus group caregivers. To tailor asthma care for children, physicians need to be knowledgeable of school-related care issues and assist families with school advocacy and asthma education.
As children develop, they become more independent and need more control and responsibility for their asthma management. A need for age-appropriate asthma self-management education was identified by the focus group parents to allow teenagers to better understand the disease and its management and to cultivate appropriate health beliefs to carry into adulthood. Understanding the developmental changes with teens such as peer pressure to smoke or be exposed to secondhand smoking is important for health professionals to address. Asthma requires long-term management skills and the ability to self-regulate, observe, judge, and react, to their asthma. Well-educated parents may help teens transition more smoothly to self-management.

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