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Myths and beliefs of long-term care providers towards starting inhaled medications in children with bronchial asthma

Authors:

N A W K Nettikumara ,

Base Hospital Kantale, LK
About N A W K
Acting Consultant Paediatrician, Base Hospital Kantale,
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K A M K U N Malaviarachchi,

Premature Baby Unit, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama,, LK
About K A M K U N
Medical Officer, Premature Baby Unit, Colombo North Teaching Hospital, Ragama, 
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Y C N Dissanayaka,

Base Hospital Thambuththegama, LK
About Y C N
Medical Officer Paediatrics, Base Hospital Thambuththegama
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U P P C Gunarathna,

Base Hospital Dambadeniya, LK
About U P P C
Medical Officer Paediatrics, Base Hospital Dambadeniya
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S M S Wijesundara,

Base Hospital Dambadeniya, LK
About S M S

Medical Officer Paediatrics, Base Hospital Dambadeniya

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W P D H Wanasundara

Base Hospital Dambadeniya, LK
About W P D H
Medical Officer Paediatrics, Base Hospital Dambadeniya
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Abstract

Introduction: Management of persistent forms of asthma needs long term use of inhalers. Myths and beliefs of long term care providers influence compliance with inhaled medications.

Objective: To assess the presence of myths and beliefs of long term care providers towards starting inhaled medications in children with bronchial asthma and the influence of socio-demographic factors on them.

Method: A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out in clinics and in-ward patients of paediatric units at 3 Base Hospitals using a self-administered questionnaire. The patients selected were those who were newly planned to start or those already on inhaled medications for bronchial asthma. Care providers who were educated by our team and short term care givers were excluded.

Results: The study included 242 long term caregivers of children with bronchial asthma. Of them, 98% had education beyond Grade 5 and 75% had a family income greater than Rs.30, 000/- per month. Majority (59.4%) were already informed regarding the use of inhalers and of them, more than 95% received it from a health care worker. The most prevalent myth among them was that ‘the cost of inhalers is very high’ (n=99, 41%). Among the other myths, a significant percentage of parents believed that ‘inhalers may damage the lungs’ (n=92, 38%) and in ‘inhaler dependency’ (n=86, 35.5%). The proportions of parents having myths were more with the more educated and higher income groups. Previous use of inhalers by the patient or a family member did not significantly influence the presence of myths.

Conclusions: A significant proportion of parents / long term care-givers of children with bronchial asthma had myths and false beliefs towards starting inhaled medications. The most prevalent myth was that ‘the cost of inhalers is very high’.

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2015; 44(4): 202-208

How to Cite: Nettikumara, N.A.W.K., Malaviarachchi, K.A.M.K.U.N., Dissanayaka, Y.C.N., Gunarathna, U.P.P.C., Wijesundara, S.M.S. and Wanasundara, W.P.D.H., 2015. Myths and beliefs of long-term care providers towards starting inhaled medications in children with bronchial asthma. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 44(4), pp.202–208. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v44i4.8043
Published on 09 Dec 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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