To cite this article: Koster ES, Wijga AH, Koppelman GH, Postma DS, Brunekreef B, De Jongste JC, Smit HA, Hoekstra MO, Raaijmakers JAM, Maitland-van der Zee A-H. Uncontrolled asthma at age 8: The importance of parental perception towards medication. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2011; 22: 462–468.
Background: Despite existing effective treatment options, asthma is uncontrolled in a considerable proportion of patients. The aim of this study was to identify determinants of uncontrolled asthma at age 8 in children participating in the PIAMA birth cohort study.
Methods: One hundred seventy children using inhaled corticosteroids in the previous 12 months at age 8 were included. Uncontrolled asthma was defined as: ≥3 items present in the past month: (1) day-time or (2) night-time asthma symptoms, (3) limitations in activities, (4) rescue medication use, (5) FEV1 < 80% predicted and (6) unscheduled physician visits because of asthma. Binomial regression was performed to study five groups of determinants representing asthma control: child and parental characteristics, environmental factors, therapy adherence and parental perception towards medication use (Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire).
Results: Seventy seven children (45%) had uncontrolled asthma. Low maternal education (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0–2.4) was associated with uncontrolled asthma. Parental necessity beliefs about medication use to maintain present and future health and parental concerns about potential adverse consequences of medication were also associated with uncontrolled asthma (RR 1.6, 95% CI: 1.1–2.2; and 1.6, 95% CI: 1.0–2.5, respectively).
Conclusions: Environmental factors and therapy adherence were not associated with asthma control. In our cohort, uncontrolled asthma is associated with low maternal education and with strong parental beliefs about medication necessity and higher concern about potential side effects of medication.