Parental knowledge and misconceptions about asthma: A controlled study

Spykerboer J.E., Donnelly W.J. and Thong Y.H. (1986) Parental knowledge and misconceptions about asthma: A controlled study. Social Science and Medicine, 22 5: 553-558. doi:10.1016/0277-9536(86)90022-5


Author Spykerboer J.E.
Donnelly W.J.
Thong Y.H.
Title Parental knowledge and misconceptions about asthma: A controlled study
Journal name Social Science and Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-9536
Publication date 1986-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/0277-9536(86)90022-5
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 22
Issue 5
Start page 553
End page 558
Total pages 6
Subject 2002 Cultural Studies
2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
3207 Social Psychology
3303 Development
3306 Health (social science)
Abstract We interviewed the parents of 128 asthmatic children about their knowledge and misconceptions of asthma. Two-third or more gave correct responses to questions on aetiology and pathogenesis, pathophysiology, symptomatology, precipitants and outcome of asthma. A control group of parents of 110 children admitted to the hospital with minor surgical complaints performed equally well on the knowledge questions, except for four sub-questions: (1) allergy as an aetiologic factor in asthma (64.5% vs 83.6%, P = 0.002), (2) constriction of airways as a bodily change during an asthmatic attack (75.4% vs 91.3%, P = 0.004), (3) cough as a symptom of asthma (82.7% vs 99.2%, P < 0.001) and (4) change in weather (81.0% vs 95.5%, P = 0.002) or cold weather (60.9% vs 74.2%, P = 0.015) as triggers of asthma. However, a significant minority of both groups of parents were found to harbour misconceptions about asthma. Between 10-20% believed that poor care, inappropriate diet during pregnancy or premature birth can predispose a child to asthma. About one-third believed that bodily changes during an asthmatic attack include loss of control or paralysis of chest muscles, infection of lungs and compression of the lungs by the stomach. Also about one-third believed that swallowing a hard object or touching a poisonous plant can set off an asthmatic attack. Some 10% believed that diarrhoea is a symptom of asthma, while 50% regarded sore throat as a symptom. Up to 40% believed in restriction of outdoor play by asthmatic children. The two groups differ with regard to whether moving to the countryside would improve asthma: 75.5% of control parents believed this, compared to 54.7% of the study group (P = 0.002). These results suggest that the inability of parents to cope with asthma can be explained in part by their misconceptions about the disease.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Scopus Import - Archived
 
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