Association of caregiver health beliefs and parenting stress with medication adherence in preschoolers with asthma

Megan L Armstrong, Christina L Duncan, Jocelyn O Stokes, Deidre Pereira
Journal of Asthma 2014, 51 (4): 366-72

OBJECTIVE: This study examined the associations of parenting stress and caregiver negative health beliefs with medication adherence in a sample of preschool-aged children with asthma.

METHODS: Participants included 43 caregivers and their child with asthma, aged 2-5 years, who were prescribed a preventative or controller medication. Assessment included parent report of parenting stress associated with parental characteristics and difficult child behavior, health-related beliefs, and adherence to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Pharmacy refill records were reviewed to measure medication adherence objectively. Statistical analyses included paired samples t-test and Pearson's correlation coefficients.

RESULTS: Parent-report and objective measures of adherence to ICS were significantly different, with parents reporting significantly higher rates of medication adherence (p < 0.001). Also, increased caregiver negative health beliefs, but not parenting stress, were significantly and negatively associated with an objective measure of ICS adherence (p < 0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: Because the findings for parenting stress are not consistent with that of the literature on school-aged children with asthma, our results may suggest that preschool children are a unique developmental group. A review of endorsed health beliefs also highlights strengths and concerns for caregivers of these very young children. Overall, our study findings underscore the importance of caregivers' health-related beliefs in promoting adherence to ICS in young children with asthma.


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