Parental beliefs about medications and medication adherence among urban children with asthma

Kelly M Conn, Jill S Halterman, Susan G Fisher, H Lorrie Yoos, Nancy P Chin, Peter G Szilagyi
Ambulatory Pediatrics: the Official Journal of the Ambulatory Pediatric Association 2005, 5 (5): 306-10

BACKGROUND: Although national guidelines recommend controller medications for children with persistent asthma, adherence is poor. Prior studies have begun to explore parental beliefs regarding controller asthma medications and their effect on adherence.

OBJECTIVE: To describe parental beliefs about controller medications among a community-based sample of urban children with persistent asthma and to examine the relationship between parental beliefs and adherence.

DESIGN/METHODS: Parents of 150 children with asthma completed a telephone survey as part of a larger asthma intervention. Parents of children using controller asthma medications were included in this study. A previously validated Beliefs About Medications Questionnaire (BMQ) was used, which included two subscales: necessity and concern. The relationship between parental beliefs about medications and medication adherence was assessed using bivariate linear regression and multivariate statistics.

RESULTS: This study included 67 children with parental report of controller medication (54% male, 61% African American, 69% Medicaid). Overall, 75% of parents strongly believed that their child's medications were necessary for their health and 34% had strong concerns about the medications. Only 22% of parents reported being completely adherent with medications. Parents with greater concern about medications were more likely to have poor adherence (P < .05). In a multivariate analysis, including both BMQ subscales and asthma severity, concern about medications significantly predicted poor medication adherence (P = .03).

CONCLUSIONS: Parental concerns about controller medications were associated with poor medication adherence for this population of urban children with asthma. These findings highlight the importance of addressing parental concerns at the time of medication prescription.

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