Pediatric Asthma Hospital Stay and Caregiver Knowledge Linked

Child recovering in hospital
Child recovering in hospital
Children of caregivers with poor asthma knowledge more likely to have prolonged hospital stay

HealthDay News — For children hospitalized with asthma exacerbations, caregiver knowledge predicts length of stay, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 15 to 17 in Seattle.

Deepti Deshpande, M.D., M.P.H., from Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues examined the correlation between caregiver knowledge about asthma and length of stay in 73 children hospitalized with an asthma exacerbation. At admission, at discharge, and after four to six weeks, caregivers completed questionnaires. Asthma education was provided to all families and included interactive asthma materials and caregiver demonstration of correct inhaler technique.

The researchers found that the likelihood of having a prolonged hospital stay (more than two days) was four times more likely for children of caregivers with poor asthma knowledge compared with those with adequate asthma knowledge (odds ratio, 4.44) after adjustment for confounding variables. Between admission and four- to six-week follow-up, caregivers demonstrated an increase in general asthma knowledge, specifically about the use of an asthma action plan, after inpatient education. At four to six weeks after discharge, 90 and 73 percent of caregivers were able to correctly name their child’s rescue and controller medicines, respectively.

“We focused on providing families with a better understanding of medications, their use, side effects, and correct technique for use of devices to help improve use,” Deshpande said in a statement.

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