Current Content
Volume 33, Number 1
January/February 2007

Asthma Care of Children in Clinical Practice: Do Parents Report Receiving Appropriate Education?
Ann McMullen, H. Lorrie Yoos, Elizabeth Anson, Harriett Kitzmann, Jill S. Halterman, and Kimberly Sidora Arcoleo

This paper describes asthma education received from the health care provider as reported by parents of children with asthma and evaluates differences in their report based on socio-demographic and disease characteristics.

Methods: Parents of 228 children with asthma were recruited from diverse clinical practice sites and asked to report on the level of education received in key content areas the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program identified as critical.

Results: The overall proportion of education content fully discussed was 66%. Areas that dealt with acute management (how to manage an asthma attack: 75%) and medication administration (how to use an MDI: 81%) were most likely to be discussed. Content dealing with ongoing chronic management and collaborative care planning (discussing goals of management: 44%; providing written guidelines for acute management: 44%) was significantly less likely to be discussed. Education reported differed significantly based on symptom severity and socio-demographic characteristics. Parents of children with moderate to severe persistent symptoms reported receiving more education than those of children with mild symptoms (p < .05). Minority and poor parents, parents with less education, and parents whose children received health care in a clinic practice setting reported more education received than did their counterparts (p < .05).

Summary: Significant gaps exist in education received overall, and specifically in areas associated with developing a collaborative relationship between parent and health care provider. The initial observation of socio-demographic differences in education reported has implications for pediatric nurses involved in asthma education and warrants further investigation.