Parent’s perceptions and concerns about inhaled asthma therapy Perceções e Receios dos Pais Acerca da Terapêutica Inalatória na Asma

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Rita Barreira - Corresponding Author

Estr. Forte do Alto Duque, 1449-005 Lisboa, Portugal

Madalena Sales Luís
Sara Marcos
Vivian Gonçalves
Rita Monteiro
Maria João Leiria


Aim: To determine parent´s perceptions and concerns about inhaled therapy and their relation to disease control.

Methods:  A questionnaire was applied by interviewing parents of 119 asthmatic children attending the Pediatric Allergy or Pneumology outpatient clinic.

Results: Eighty-one (68%) parents expressed concerns and worries about the use of inhaled therapy in their children, either with controlled or partially/uncontrolled asthma (65% Vs 78% p=0.22). Regarding their beliefs about inhaled therapy, 11% (n=13) stated that they considered pMDI’s/DPI’s less effective than nebulizers. When questioned about the knowledge of their child's acute exacerbation therapy, 91.5% (n=109) reported knowing it, albeit only 40% (n=44) did answer it correctly. Nine parents said they were unaware of their children’s reliever treatment.

Discussion: We expected to find parental concerns about inhaled therapy, but such a high percentage wasn´t expected. A substantial number of parents believe that their children can become addicted or dependent on the use of the inhaler. This finding reinforces the misconceptions parents do have regarding inhaled therapy. There is a higher proportion of parents with concerns in the group with partially/uncontrolled asthma, although it was not statistically significant. The majority of patients/parents reported knowing the reliever plan in an exacerbation, although most of them could not explain the plan correctly. These results are worrying, as they show parents have an inappropriate knowledge of reliever measures. Therefore, we suggest that improvements in education about inhaled therapy should be made, including the regular review of the inhalation technique and the reliever plan in every consultation.

Keywords: Administration, Inhalation; Anti-Asthmatic Agents; Asthma/drug therapy; Child; Parents

Article Details

Barreira R, Sales Luís M, Marcos S, Gonçalves V, Monteiro R, Leiria MJ. Parent’s perceptions and concerns about inhaled asthma therapy: Perceções e Receios dos Pais Acerca da Terapêutica Inalatória na Asma. Gaz Med [Internet]. 2019 Mar. 31 [cited 2022 Aug. 10];6(1). Available from:

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