Medication use in Indian children with asthma: The user's perspective

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Abstract

Background and objective

Despite the high prevalence of asthma in children, there has been limited research into patient perception of medication use, particularly in the developing world. This study therefore aimed to carry out an in-depth exploration of the views of carers and children with asthma on asthma medication use.

Methods

Grounded theory approach was used to conduct semistructured qualitative interviews in a purposive convenience sample of parents and children with asthma. The participants were recruited from two specialty hospitals in New Delhi, India. Interviews were tape-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed.

Results

Twenty children (7–12 years old) with asthma and their parent or carer were interviewed in July 2011. Major reported issues included poor parent and child understanding of disease and medications. Fears, misinformed beliefs and lack of self-management skills were apparent. Child self-image, resistance to medication use and lack of responsibility in medication taking were themes that emerged from child interviews.

Conclusions

This is one of the first research studies exploring the viewpoint of children with asthma about their medications. Resource constraints dictate a pragmatic paternalistic approach by physicians which, in contrast to patients in westernized nations, seems to be acceptable and satisfactory to Indian patients (carers).

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