What is included in patient education for pediatric asthma?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Girish D Sharma, MD, FCCP, FAAP; Chief Editor: Kenan Haver, MD  more...
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Answer

Patient and parent education should include instructions on how to use medications and devices (eg, spacers, nebulizers, metered-dose inhalers [MDIs]). The patient's MDI technique should be assessed on every visit. Discuss the management plan, which includes instructions about the use of medications, precautions with drug and/or device usage, monitoring symptoms and their severity (peak flow meter reading), and identifying potential adverse effects and necessary actions.

Write and discuss in detail a rescue plan for an acute episode. This plan should include instructions for identifying signs of an acute attack, using rescue medications, monitoring, and contacting the asthma care team. Parents should understand that asthma is a chronic disorder with acute exacerbations; hence, continuity of management with active participation by the patient and/or parents and interaction with asthma care medical personnel is important. Emphasize the importance of adherence to treatment.

Incorporate the concept of expecting full control of symptoms, including nocturnal and exercise-induced symptoms, in the management plans and goals (for all but the most severely affected patients). Avoid unnecessary restrictions in the lifestyle of the child or family. Expect the child to participate in recreational activities and sports and to attend school as usual.


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