Objective: Parents' awareness of their child's asthma may improve by discussing an exercise challenge test (ECT) result with them. We investigated the influence of discussing an ECT result with parents on adherence to inhaled maintenance medication, parental illness perceptions and medication beliefs in young asthmatic children.
Methods: A total of 79 children, 4-7 years old and enrolled in our standard comprehensive asthma care program, performed an ECT to assess exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIB). The result of the ECT was immediately discussed with the parents. Median medication adherence level was measured with electronic medication loggers from six weeks before the ECT till six weeks afterwards. Parental beliefs about medicines and illness perceptions were measured with the Beliefs about Medicines Questionnaire (BMQ) and the Brief Illness Perceptions Questionnaire (B-IPQ).
Results: The median baseline adherence level was high (83%) and showed a small significant decline after the ECT. There was no significant difference in the decrease in median adherence level between the children with or without EIB. Most parents (82.1%) showed a positive necessity-concern ratio at baseline, as measured with the BMQ. There was no clinical relevant change in medication concerns and necessity scores or in illness perceptions.
Conclusion: Discussing ECT results with parents does not modify median adherence levels to inhaled maintenance medication nor medication beliefs of highly adherent young asthmatic children who are already enrolled in a comprehensive asthma care program.
Keywords: Asthma and early wheeze; compliance; diagnostic tests; pediatrics; pulmonary function testing.