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Open Access Research article

The knowledge, attitudes and practices of parents of children with asthma in 29 cities of China: a multi-center study

Jing Zhao1*, Kunling Shen2, Li Xiang2, Guoqing Zhang1, Meng Xie1, Juan Bai1 and Qiyi Chen1

Author Affiliations

1 Capital Institute of Pediatrics, Beijing, China

2 Beijing Children’s Hospital, Beijing, China

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BMC Pediatrics 2013, 13:20  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-20

Published: 4 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Asthma is becoming increasingly prevalent among children in China. Poor parent knowledge and attitudes often contribute to inappropriate management practices, leading to deficiencies in the care process. We aimed to document the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of parents of children with asthma and analyze how knowledge and attitudes relate to practices. Our secondary objective was to identify the factors associated with parent KAP scores.

Methods

A KAP questionnaire was distributed to parents caring for 2960 children (0–14 years) diagnosed with asthma for at least 3 months from China’s 29 provinces. A 50-item questionnaire was devised for this cross-sectional survey based on a comprehensive review of the subject. Questionnaires were scored on 30 items regarding parent asthma-related KAP, with one point for every correct response and a possible range of 0–13 for knowledge, 0–7 for attitudes and 0–10 for practices. Higher scores indicated better KAP. Chi-squared tests and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with practices and combined KAP scores.

Results

The response rate was 83.95% (2485/2960). Only 18.31% (455/2485) of parents correctly answered ≥ 60% of the knowledge questions (mean = 5.69). Most (89.85%; 2226/2485) gave positive responses to ≥ 60% of the attitude questions (mean = 5.23) while 67.89% (1687/2485) correctly answered ≥ 60% of the practices questions (mean = 6.19). Knowledge and attitudes were positively associated with pulmonary function testing, regular physician visits, monitoring with a peak flow meter and the Children’s Asthma Control Test questionnaire, avoidance of asthma triggers, using an inhaled β2 receptor agonist and adherence to medication regimen (p ≤ 0.05). Attitudes were also associated with allergen testing. In logistic regression analysis, high KAP scores (dichotomized by a cut-off score of 18) were positively associated with food allergy, rhinitis, physician visits, frequency of visits and parent education (p < 0.05, OR > 1).

Conclusions

Generally, the parents’ KAP were poor. A gap between recommended and actual practice was observed, which may be related to inadequate knowledge about and poor attitudes toward childhood asthma. Improving knowledge and attitudes may encourage better practices among parents of children with asthma.

Keywords:
Asthma; Knowledge; Attitudes; Practices; Parents; China