Do Urban Minority Parents and Children Agree on Asthma Symptoms with Exercise, Worries, and Confidence in Disease Management?

Acad Pediatr. 2019 Aug;19(6):624-630. doi: 10.1016/j.acap.2019.05.007. Epub 2019 May 16.


Objective: Providers commonly rely on parent reports of a child's asthma symptoms; however, children as young as 7 years can report on their own health. Our study compared parent and child reports of asthma symptoms with exercise, worries about developing an asthma attack, and confidence in disease management.

Methods: We recruited children ages 7 to 10 years with asthma from 4 Bronx, NY, schools, as well as their parents. The parents and children completed interview surveys with parallel questions regarding perceived asthma symptoms, asthma-related worries, and confidence in disease management. We used McNemar tests for paired data to compare parent and child responses.

Results: We analyzed data for 105 parent-child pairs. Mean child age was 8.5 years (standard deviation, 0.99); 53% were male, and 82% were Hispanic. Children were more likely than their parents to report ever having an exercise-induced asthma attack (85% vs 48%; P < .001) and that they "worry a lot" about developing an asthma attack during exercise (63% vs 45%; P = .01). Children felt more confident about using an inhaler correctly (76% of the children were "very sure" vs 60% of the parents; P = .009) and were more likely to report having an inhaler available in case of an attack (38% of the children were "very sure" vs 20% of the parents; P = .003).

Conclusions: In this school-based sample of urban children with asthma, we found disagreement between parent and child reports of symptoms with exercise, worry about developing an attack, and confidence in medication use. These findings suggest that including child reports during history taking could help providers identify children in need of enhanced asthma management.

Keywords: asthma; caregivers; parent-child agreement; pediatric; urban.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / psychology*
  • Asthma / therapy
  • Asthma, Exercise-Induced
  • Child
  • Disease Management
  • Emotions*
  • Exercise / psychology*
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Minority Groups
  • New York City
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Schools
  • Self Efficacy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Population