Published online: December 1, 2016
Urban minority youth diagnosed with asthma have a disproportionately high burden of asthma morbidity and mortality. Understanding the home medication environment and its relation to medication adherence can shape interventions to improve health outcomes.
In a recent article published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Pappalardo and colleagues describe that the home medication environment of a high risk pediatric cohort reveals lack of proper medications, devices, and poor inhaler technique. Baseline data from two cohorts of minority youth with asthma in Chicago were combined for cross-sectional analysis. Bilingual research assistants (RAs) observed children’s asthma medications and inhaler technique and collected data in the home, asking caregivers and children to self-report medications using pictures.
The sample contained 175 mainly Latino youth (85.6%) ranging from 5-18 years old. Most were on public insurance (80%) and had uncontrolled asthma by self-report (89.7%). Only 27.4% of children had a spacer, 74.9% had a quick-relief medicine and 48.6% had any controller medicine. Only one child was able to properly demonstrate 100% of the inhaler steps and 35.6% achieved >70% of inhaler steps.
This study encourages frequent objective review of medications available in the home, reinforced inhaler technique training for children and caregivers, and highlights the need for multi-level interventions to help address adherence.
The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.