Compliance with asthma medication is recognised to be a problem. Acquisition of medication is the first step towards compliance. Factors predicting poor collection of prophylactic medication were investigated.
A case/control study was conducted. Cases were children who had had at least two consultations for poorly controlled asthma in 1 yr and collected prescriptions of prophylactic medication irregularly. Controls were children whose prescriptions were collected as instructed.
Levels of knowledge about asthma and asthma medication were high in both groups. Parents of cases were more likely to perceive their child's asthma to be moderate or severe and more likely to report that their child's asthma was not well controlled. They reported more night-time symptoms, exercise symptoms and school absence. Parents of cases were less likely to report that administering inhalers was part of the evening routine. They were less likely to perceive their child's prophylactic medication to be very effective and more reluctant to administer prophylactic medication.
Some parents may decide to undertreat their children, although lack of organised routine may contribute to poor compliance. Parents need guidance on interpreting symptoms and support in establishing routines for the administration of medication.
- Case/control study
- Prophylactic medication