2001 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
CAREGIVER?S COMPLIANCEWITH PRESCRIBED MANAGEMENT REGIMEN FOR YOUNG CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA.
Lynda Thomas Goodfellow,Ed. D., RRT, Alice Demi RN, DNS, FAAN, Josephine V. Brown, Ph.D., GeorgiaState University, Atlanta, GA.
Asthma is the most common childhoodchronic disease in the US, affecting an estimated 4.8 million children underthe age of 18 years. Lack of compliance with the National Education Asthma PreventionProgram (NEAPP) guidelines contributes to asthma morbidity and mortality. Thepurpose of this study was to assess caregiver compliance with the NEAPP Guidelines.The research question guiding the researchers was: What are the patterns ofmedication compliance among families with young children with asthma. Ninety-twochildren (1-6 yrs.) with asthma and their primary caregivers were recruitedfrom an inner-city hospital. Children?s mean age was 3.9 years, 79% had moderatepersistent or more severe asthma (based on physician assessment and medicationregimen); mean caregiver age was 31 years, 35% of the mothers bore their firstchild < 17 yrs.; 90% are on Medicaid and 99% are African-American.Asking how often the child received daily medications exactly as prescribedwithin the last week assessed self-reported medication adherence. Forty-two(46%) children followed the medication regimen as ordered. Forty-six (50%) childrenwere not being medicated as prescribed (or under-medicated) and 4 (4%) weregiven more medications than ordered (or over-medicated). Twenty-six (28%) childrenwere given medications in addition to the ones prescribed at the time of theassessment. The findings suggest the importance of generating clearly outlinedmedication regimens. Many children were over medicated while others were undermedicated. Moreover, some children were not medicated at all according to theprescribed plan but were given other non-prescribed medications for asthma symptomrelief and control. Additional research is needed to clarify reasons why caregiversdo not follow medication adherence plans in the pediatric asthma populationto optimize medical management, particularly in the at-risk ethnic minoritypopulations. To improve compliance with NEAPP guidelines members of the healthcareteam need to review family?s medication regimens and reinforce the need to usepreventive medicines at every healthcare visit.