Parental problems and a chaotic home environment could be preventing children from taking their prescribed asthma medication.
A new study, which will be presented today (3 September 2012) at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Vienna, has shown that children's asthma symptoms could be worse due to issues in their home.
Non-adherence to asthma medication is a common problem, although it is not yet understood what the major barriers are for patients. In this new study, researchers have, for the first time, recorded and analysed a large range of commonly suspected reasons for children taking their asthma medication ineffectively.
As part of an on-going project aiming to assess determinants of adherence to asthma, researchers in the Netherlands electronically measured how well children took their maintenance medication to control their asthma. The project has already produced results showing that children with high adherence rates have well-controlled asthma with fewer symptoms, such as breathlessness and wheeze.
Despite the testing centre offering patients a comprehensive asthma care programme, many children still had low adherence to asthma medication. To understand what could be preventing children following a treatment plan, researchers conducted in-depth interviews with the parents of 20 children; those with the lowest adherence rates and those with the highest. They compared the results of these interviews with the electronic monitoring rates.
Although all parents in the group who had children with low adherence rates expressed the intention to strictly follow the treatment plan at the outset, they failed to do so during the course of the study. When asked about the barriers preventing their child's adherence to their medication, parents presented a number of lifestyle factors as the reason behind their child did not follow their treatment plan effectively.