Chronic respiratory disease

March 2010

Research

Children in the ACT with asthma

Are they taking preventer medication according to guidelines?

Volume 39, No.3, March 2010 Pages 146-149

Maree Brown

Christine Phillips

Karen Ciszek

Debbie Burton

Robyn Attewell

Tim McDonald

Kathryn Dwan

Aim

To ascertain whether children with asthma in the Australian Capital Territory were taking preventer medications in accordance with National Asthma Council Australia guidelines.

Methods

Questionnaires were distributed to all parents who indicated in an ACT wide survey of school entry children in 2005 that their child had asthma (n=435), or experienced asthma symptoms/took asthma medication (n=501), exploring dose, frequency and mode of delivery of preventer their child was currently taking.

Results

Data were available for 256 children (response rate 27%). Of the children with parent reported asthma (n=435) the response rate was 42%. Eightythree (32%) children were currently taking preventers; complete medication details were provided for 60 children. A total of 32% of children on preventers were taking doses of preventers not in accordance with guidelines, while 80% of children were taking their medications at frequencies, or using delivery devices, not in accordance with guidelines.

Discussion

This study suggests that home medical management of asthma with preventers for children may not be optimal.

In Australia, over 3.9 million people have been diagnosed with asthma and over 2 million have current symptoms.1 Parent reported asthma prevalence in children ranges from 14–16%.2

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Correspondence afp@racgp.org.au

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Type

Research