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Croatian medical journal, Vol.52 No.5 October 2011. -

Aim To assess parental perceptions and beliefs about asthma

in children.

Methods We invited 6000 children aged 3 to 15 years from

different schools in Lebanon to participate in the study

from September 2007 to May 2008. In the first phase, in

order to determine the prevalence of asthma in children,

parents of all participating children filled out a small questionnaire.

In the second phase, only parents of children

with asthma filled out a detailed questionnaire about their

perceptions of asthma.

Results Phase I included parents of 4051 children, 574

14% of whom had asthma and were recruited to phase

II. Out of these, 389 parents entered the final data analysis.

Around 54% of parents believed that asthma was hereditary

and 7% believed it was contagious. When asked about

triggering factors, 51% stated virus infection, 75% dust, and

17% food. Sixty percent of children with asthma lived with

someone who smoked. Sixty-seven percent of parents believed

that herbs had a role in asthma treatment and only

49% received asthma education. There was a significant

difference in education level P = 0.01 between the parents

who denied the label of asthma 79% and those who

accepted it 21%. Sixty-seven percent of parents preferred

oral over inhaler treatment, 48% believed inhalers were addictive,

56% worried about inhalers’ side effects, and 76%

worried about using inhaled corticosteroids. Significantly

more parents from rural 53% than from urban areas 38%

believed that inhalers were addictive P = 0.004.

Conclusion Parents of children with asthma had considerable

misperceptions about the use of inhalers and the

safety of inhaled corticosteroids. To improve asthma care

in children, it is necessary to provide adequate education

to parents

asthma; parental; beliefs; childhood; perceptions; survey

Autor: Rola Zaraket - ; Department of Pediatrics, Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanon Mohamad A. Al-Tannir - ; Scientific Researc



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