Kids Miss Asthma Doses

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A study of adherence to long-term, daily medication and use of as-neededasthma drugs found that children oftentimes miss scheduleddoses. The researchers of a second study attributed the reason to familieshaving difficulty incorporating daily medication into their routines. Bothstudies were reported in the Journal of Pediatrics (February 2005).

The first study included 75 children with persistent asthma. The resultsof the study found that after a month there were high levels of nonadherence.For example, only about 45% of the doses were taken. The studyalso found that compliance was worse in older children, compared withyounger children. In terms of reliance on as-needed medications, the numbersvaried, from no inhaler puffs to 18 puffs daily. The use of inhalers wasnot connected with adherence to daily medications or with illness the previousyear.

In the second study, the researchers focused on how families can structuretheir routines to improve medication compliance. For the study, 133families with children with asthma were given a questionnaire. The resultswere matched with medication adherence and response to standard questionnaireson medication compliance, asthma severity, and quality of life.The researchers learned that the continuation of normal routines aroundmedication use was connected with improved adherence to medications,according to researcher Barbara H. Fiese, PhD.

"For some families, maintaining regular routines is not a big deal,"sothey are able to easily incorporate daily medications into their schedules,noted Dr. Fiese. On the other hand, there is a view that it is another areathat requires attention. "Those families,"she added, "may need additionalsupport in learning how to fold medication use into their daily life so that itreduces strain and burden rather than increasing it."