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Caregivers of Preschoolers with Asthma are Lacking Medications, Knowledge to Manage the Chronic Illness

8/7/2018

A Baltimore study of urban preschool children with asthma found that fewer than half of their caregivers were prepared to administer medication for the routine management or emergency response to the child’s chronic condition. The study, “Home Medication Readiness for Preschool Children with Asthma,” to be published in the September 2018 issue of Pediatrics (published online Aug. 7), defined medication readiness as the physical availability of medications in the home that were not expired and had remaining doses. In addition, the researchers asked if each caregiver could correctly identify whether the medication was a rescue or controller medication, and whether the caregiver could state any dosing instructions for the medication. Using these criteria, they observed major gaps in medication readiness, including unavailability of the medications and lack of knowledge about how to use the medications. The study included 288 caregivers of children between ages 2 and 6 years, from predominantly African-American families. Only 60 percent of children had a rescue medication and less than 50 percent had a controller medication that met the five readiness index criteria. The authors suggest that assessment of medication availability be incorporated into the care of children with chronic conditions, with interventions to improve medication management.

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The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds