Effects of Family Treatment on Parenting Beliefs Among Caregivers of Youth With Poorly Controlled Asthma

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Objective:Caregiver involvement is critical in ensuring optimal adolescent asthma management. The study investigated whether multisystemic therapy (MST), an intensive home-based family therapy, was superior to family support for changing beliefs regarding asthma-related positive parenting among caregivers of African-American youth with poorly controlled asthma. The relationship between parenting beliefs and asthma management at the conclusion of the intervention was also assessed.Methods:A randomized controlled trial was conducted with 167 adolescents with moderate-to-severe, persistent, poorly controlled asthma and their primary caregivers. Families were randomly assigned to MST or family support (FS), a home-based family support condition. Data were collected at baseline and 7-month posttest. Changes in caregiver ratings of importance and confidence for engaging in asthma-related positive parenting were assessed through questionnaire. Illness management was assessed by the Family Asthma Management System Scale.Results:Participation in MST was associated with more change in caregiver beliefs as compared with FS for both importance (t = 2.39, p = .02) and confidence (t = 2.04, p = .04). Caregiver beliefs were also significantly related to youth controller medication adherence at the conclusion of treatment (importance: r = .21, p = .01; confidence: r = .23, p = .004).Conclusion:Results support the effectiveness of MST for increasing parental beliefs in the value of asthma-related positive parenting behaviors and parental self-efficacy for these behaviors among families of minority adolescents with poorly controlled asthma.

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