Objectives: To identify parental barriers to anti-inflammatory medication use and to develop an instrument for use in research and health care settings to identify at-risk populations.
Methods: Instrument development consisted of 4 phases: 1) gaining the professional perspective (N = 8 experts in asthma management), 2) gaining the perspective of parents of children with asthma (qualitative interviews with 21 parents), 3) instrument pretesting and refinement (N = 133 parents), and 4) determining the instrument's psychometric properties. Study participants were diverse in race, socioeconomic status, and the child's illness severity. The final instrument consisted of 51 questions in 5 domains (nature of disease, cause, ideas about medications, treatment expectations, and health care provider relationship).
Results: The final instrument exhibited strong reliability (Cronbach alpha =.87) and validity. Significant barriers to appropriate anti-inflammatory medication use were parents' diminished treatment expectations and fears about anti-inflammatory medications. Minority families were more likely than white families to view asthma as unpredictable and uncontrollable (P =.01) and to have negative attitudes toward anti-inflammatory medications (P =.004). Eight questions were significantly correlated with a suboptimal medication regimen and may serve as a "quick screen" for potential nonadherence in clinical settings.
Conclusions: Diminished treatment expectations and negative attitudes toward anti-inflammatories may be powerful predictors of nonadherence to medications.