Communication During Pediatric Asthma Visits and Self-Reported Asthma Medication
OBJECTIVE: Our objectives were to examine how certain aspects of provider-patient communication recommended by national asthma guidelines (ie, provider asking for child and caregiver input into the asthma treatment plan) were associated with child asthma medication adherence 1 month after an audio-taped medical visit.
METHODS: Children ages 8 through 16 with mild, moderate, or severe persistent asthma and their caregivers were recruited at 5 pediatric practices in nonurban areas of North Carolina. All medical visits were audio-tape recorded. Children were interviewed 1 month after their medical visits, and both children and caregivers reported the child's control medication adherence. Generalized estimating equations were used to determine if communication during the medical visit was associated with medication adherence 1 month later.
RESULTS: Children (n = 259) completed a home visit interview ∼1 month after their audio-taped visit, and 216 of these children were taking an asthma control medication at the time of the home visit. Children reported an average control medication adherence for the past week of 72%, whereas caregivers reported the child's average control medication adherence for the past week was 85%. Child asthma management self-efficacy was significantly associated with both child- and caregiver-reported control medication adherence. When providers asked for caregiver input into the asthma treatment plan, caregivers reported significantly higher child medication adherence 1 month later.
CONCLUSIONS: Providers should ask for caregiver input into their child's asthma treatment plan because it may lead to better control medication adherence.