Knowledge of Inhaled Therapy and Responsibility for Asthma Management Among Young Teens With Uncontrolled Persistent Asthma

Acad Pediatr. 2018 Apr;18(3):317-323. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2018.01.006. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Objectives: To compare the abilities of teens with uncontrolled persistent asthma and their caregivers to identify inhaled medications and state correct indications for use; examine medication responsibility within dyads; and determine whether responsibility is associated with knowledge about inhaled therapies.

Methods: In the baseline survey for the School-Based Asthma Care for Teens (SB-ACT) trial, we separately asked caregivers and teens to: 1) identify the teen's inhaled asthma therapies by name and from a picture chart (complete matches considered "concordant"); 2) describe indications of use for each medication; and 3) describe the allocation of responsibility for medication use within dyads. We limited analyses to dyads in which either member reported at least one rescue and one inhaled controller medication; we used McNemar and Pearson chi-square tests.

Results: A total of 136 dyads were analyzed. More caregivers than teens concordantly identified medications (63% vs 31%, P < .001). There was no difference between caregivers and teens in the ability to state correct indications for use (56% vs 54%, P = .79). More teens than caregivers endorsed "full teen responsibility" for rescue medication (65% vs 27%, P < .001) and controller medication use (50% vs 15%, P < .001). Neither concordant identification nor knowing indications for use was associated with reported medication responsibility.

Conclusions: Medication responsibility within dyads of caregivers and teens with persistent asthma is not associated with knowledge about inhaled therapies. Targeting both members of the dyad with education and self-management strategies before responsibility transitions start may allow providers to avoid a missed opportunity to support these emerging stakeholders to adherence.

Keywords: asthma; childhood; medication identification; prevention; primary care; responsibility.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parents*
  • Patient Medication Knowledge*
  • Self Care*


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents