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Improved parent-physician communication to prevent hospitalizations for childhood asthma

Asthma is one of the most common breathing problems encountered by many in day-to-day life. In the recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the incidence of the disease, particularly among children. //

It has been estimated that nearly 196,000 children are hospitalized in the United States every year with asthma attacks. A considerable amount is being spent on the health issue that is associated with physical, emotional and financial constraints for the entire family.

Thanks to the fervent efforts of scientists who have been working on ways to effectively manage childhood asthma. It has been found out from recent research that nearly half of childhood asthma hospitalizations could be prevented with something as simple as improved parent-physician communication.

An improvement in the relationship can be extended to detailed discussion regarding the child's condition, medication, follow-up care and asthma triggers to ensure effective health care delivery.

The study has been conducted among parents, doctors and attending physicians of children admitted for asthma to an urban hospital over a period 14 months. Of the 230 children hospitalized, it was found that a majority of them had not had a consultation before admission.

It was also shown that such high hospitalization rates could have been prevented by combined efforts of primary health care physicians, attending physicians and parents.

Following the survey, it has been projected that nearly 15 to 54 percent of all asthma–related hospitalizations are preventable. The results only highlight the need for imparting health education about childhood asthma and the need for a coordinated move involving both the family and the physician.

The areas that would require specific attention in this regard include means of keeping away children from asthma triggers such as cigarette smoke, dust and pests and the importance of medication that is to be taken at the right time and in the right way.

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