Knowledge, attitudes, and practices of parents of asthmatic children in Cape Town

J Asthma. 2000 Sep;37(6):519-28. doi: 10.3109/02770900009055479.


To obtain information useful to asthma care in a relatively poor, high asthma prevalence population, a focus group study was undertaken with 72 parents of children with asthma or recurrent wheezing. There was a reasonable level of understanding of the causes of asthma, although variable acceptance of the diagnosis. Willingness to undertake home management of acute episodes and environmental control measures was high. Reported treatment was characterized by reliance on syrups, use of home remedies, resistance to inhaled therapy, and relatively low compliance with prescribed treatment. There was agreement on the poor level of service offered by doctors and public sector clinics. Asthma education in this population needs to build on what parents know and accept, but stress the relative safety of inhaled therapy, the need for maintenance therapy, and the value of pre-exercise prophylaxis, house dust mite control, and smoking cessation. There is an urgent need to improve the quality of asthma care provided by public sector clinics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Home Nursing / education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parents / education*
  • Patient Compliance
  • South Africa