PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to assess what children with asthma are actually treated with to control their disease.
METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to children with asthma attending classes from nursery till 8th grade at schools in different Lebanese districts. The questionnaire asked parents about the perception of parents toward asthma and are the medications their children are taking to control asthma. The study duration was from October 2006 to March 2007. Statistical analysis was made utilizing SPSS program.
RESULTS: Out of 574 asthmatic children, 390 replied back, a response rate of 68%. The age ranged from 3 to 15 years (mean= 8.4 + 2.7), 44% were females and the mean duration of asthma was 4.8 + 3.1 years. 223 (57%) children were from urban areas and 167 (43%) were from rural areas. The frequencies of children taking asthma medications were: oral antihistamine 41%, inhaled β-agonists 37%, inhaled corticosteroids 24%, anti-tussive or mucolytic medication 17%, leukotriene antagonists 13%, oral β-agonist preparations 14% and theophylline 10%. Children with asthma living in urban areas received more inhaled β-agonists (45% vs. 19%, p<0.001), inhaled corticosteroids (30% vs. 10%, p=0.002), and leukotriene antagonists (18% vs. 3%, p=0.002) than those living in rural areas. The use of inhaled corticosteroids was significantly lower in children whose parents believed inhalers are addicting (87% vs. 13%, p<0.001), worried about inhalers side effects (82% vs. 18%, p<0.002), or worried about inhaled corticosteroids (79% vs. 21%, p=0.001). Children who were receiving inhaled corticosteroids had lower hospitalization rate (33% vs. 67%, p=0.03).
CONCLUSION: Current treatment for asthma among the surveyed children was suboptimal mainly in terms of prescription of controller medication.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Improvements need to be instituted for better education and treatment of children with asthma in Lebanon.
DISCLOSURE: Hani Lababidi, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information