School-age children with asthma and their parents: relationships with health care providers

Terry A Buford
Issues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing 2005, 28 (3): 153-62
Health care providers, including nurses, physicians, and other personnel, are key figures who design and implement plans of care to help families manage childhood asthma, yet families' perceptions of relationships with these professionals has received limited study. Child and parent perspectives about relationships with their health care providers emerged as themes in a study that explored responsibility sharing between school-age children with asthma and their parents (Buford, 2004). Fourteen school-age children with asthma and 14 of their parents from 11 families participated in the study. Parents and, to a lesser extent, children, described aspects of their relationships with their health care providers that were supports or barriers to asthma management. Implications for nurses and other health care providers stem from these data and include the importance for health care providers to educate themselves and their patients about state-of-the-art asthma care. Education should be directed to both parents and their children. In addition, parents need to receive education about how to coach their children because the children depend on them for information and direction. Finally, nurses and other health care providers need to listen to parents and value their input about their children's conditions.

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