An assessment of knowledge and comprehension of asthma therapy among guardians of asthmatic children at KNH paediatric asthma clinic
Due to an increasing urbanisation, industrialization and progressive changes in the style of living in developing countries like Kenya, an increase in asthma morbidity is expected and especially in the young who form majority of the population. It is therefore of paramount importance to focus on asthma management and specifically in children who mainly require assistance from their carers. Purpose: This study aimed to assess understanding of asthma therapy among guardians of asthmatic children and thereby promote patient education on asthma symptoms, its trigger factors and proper drug management. Goal of Study: To contribute to the promotion of asthma awareness among guardians of asthmatic children and improve asthma management by ascertaining the current state of awareness among guardians of KNH patients. Study Design: This was a hospital-based prospective cross-sectional study. The data were collected using an interview questionnaire designed and validated for the purpose. Study Population: Guardians of children aged below 12 years with a diagnosis of asthma. Sampling Procedure and Size: Every guardian of an asthmatic child seen at the paediatric chest clinic who consented to participate, was administered a questionnaire after explaining the purpose and getting their voluntary consent. A total of 140 guardians were studied. Data Analysis: The data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 13.0 software and then presented as tables, graphs and pie charts to demonstrate the level of knowledge of asthma therapy by guardians of children with asthma. Results After assessing on asthma therapy in guardians of asthmatic children, it was found the majority of guardians, 62.8% had an average knowledge on asthma symptoms, 35% had good knowledge while 2.1% had poor knowledge of the symptoms. Concerning asthma trigger factors, 65% of the guardians had good knowledge, while 34.3% had average knowledge. A small percentage (0.7%) had poor knowledge of the triggers. Concerning knowledge of asthma drugs and administration, 87.2% had good knowledge of names of drugs prescribed, 80.9% knew the correct way of using MOl devices and 29.1% knew the purpose of the prescribed drugs. Conclusions •• The' guardians had better understanding on education of asthma triggers factors compared to asthma symptoms. Education on the names of the medicines prescribed and the proper use of metered dose inhaler and spacer devices was well understood as the guardians scored high in this assessment. However, knowledge on the purpose of the medicines prescribed was poor among guardians with a low score of 29.1 %. Recommendations A more intensive education on all asthma symptoms to be observed in children was necessary during the initial visits at the clinic and reminder trainings in subsequent visits. A pharmacist should be involved in the asthma education at the paediatric clinic for proper explanation on purposes of asthma drugs and any other advice involving the drugs like expected adverse reactions.