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Doctors, parents need better communication on asthma medications :

July 22, 2016

Parents often don’t know what type of asthma medication their child was prescribed and how often to use it, researchers found.

The cross-sectional study included 740 pairs of providers and parents of children ages 4-11 years. Each of the children had a diagnosis of asthma and were prescribed at least one controller medication. Children with severe asthma or other health issues were excluded.

Results showed 72% of parents knew what type of controller medication their child was prescribed, and 49% knew both the type and how often to administer it.

Among children prescribed inhaled corticosteroids, there was a mismatch in the understanding of the dose in 27% of prescriptions for daily, year-round use; 54% of prescriptions for daily use when asthma is active; and 66% of prescriptions for relief only, according to the study.

Parents who were Latino or who did not feel the medicine was working were more likely to report a different medication than the provider reported. A mismatch between parents and provider reports also was more likely when the parent did not feel the child needed the dose prescribed.

Researchers suggested providers talk with parents about the importance of the medicine and whether they think it is working to identify families who are not using the proper dose.

“Improving provider-patient communication during medical visits could help with caregiver-reported medicine adherence,” they said.

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