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Take your child's word for it on asthma, study finds
Date:8/2/2013

SAN ANTONIO -- Children's perceptions of living with asthma may differ significantly from their caregivers' perceptions, which means both should be interviewed when they visit the doctor's office, a new study from UT Kids San Antonio and the Center for Airway Inflammation Research (cAIR) shows.

The study analyzed the agreement between 79 children and their caregivers on health-related quality-of-life questionnaires. The children ranged in age from 5 to 17. Fifty-three were classified as having acute asthma and 26 had refractory, or treatment-resistant, asthma.

Include children

"The take-home message is that children need to be included in the communication process with health care providers, and physicians need to elicit the child's perspective on their illness, health status, asthma symptoms and what is being done to treat their illness," said senior author Pamela Wood, M.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor of pediatrics in the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

UT Kids is the clinical practice of the Department of Pediatrics. cAIR is a newly established research center at the Health Science Center's South Texas Research Facility that focuses on controlling and preventing acute and chronic airway diseases. The director is Joel Baseman, Ph.D.

Encouragement needed

Study lead author Margaret Burks, M.D., a 2013 graduate of the School of Medicine who is now an intern at Vanderbilt University, said children should be empowered to take control of their asthma. "Encouraging an environment where children can talk freely with their caregiver is important, and can start with allowing the child to participate in the office visit," Dr. Burks said. "It is important that children feel that their response to their disease is valued, not only by their physician but by their caregiver, as well."

Children were asked to rate their own limitations on
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Contact: Will Sansom
sansom@uthscsa.edu
210-567-2579
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Source:Eurekalert

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