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Parents' Concerns About Asthma Meds May Lower Use

Acceptance that drugs are necessary outweighs concerns; confidence among minorities is lower

TUESDAY, Sept. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Parents of children with asthma have concerns about the medications their children take, although they feel those medications are necessary, and their degree of concern is associated with the consistency with which they administer those medications, according to a cross-sectional survey published in the September issue of Pediatrics.

Kelly M. Conn, M.P.H., of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry in Rochester, N.Y., and colleagues surveyed parents of 622 children with asthma from rural, suburban and urban areas of southeast Michigan. Eighty-four percent of the parents were defined as non-minority (white non-Hispanic).

About one-third of the parents reported having strong concerns about drug dependency and side effects while 72 percent felt strongly that the medications were necessary for maintaining their children's health. Necessity scores outweighed concern scores for 79 percent of non-minority parents and for 68 percent of minority parents. Adherence to medication regimens increased when confidence in the need for those medications was high relative to concerns.

"A better understanding of parents' medication beliefs and their impact on adherence likely would help clinicians counsel effectively to promote adherence," the authors conclude.

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