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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6364194, 7 pages
Research Article

Parental Perceptions and Practices toward Childhood Asthma

1Research Center, King Fahad Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Emergency Medicine, King Saud University Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Received 11 April 2016; Revised 31 July 2016; Accepted 14 September 2016

Academic Editor: Cristan Herbert

Copyright © 2016 Amani K. Abu-Shaheen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Parental perceptions and practices are important for improving the asthma outcomes in children; indeed, evidence shows that parents of asthmatic children harbor considerable misperceptions of the disease. Objective. To investigate the perceptions and practices of parents toward asthma and its management in Saudi children. Methods. Using a self-administered questionnaire, a two-stage cross-sectional survey of parents of children aged between 3 and 15 years, was conducted from schools located in Riyadh province in central Saudi Arabia. Results. During the study interval, 2000 parents were asked to participate in the study; 1450 parents responded, of whom 600 (41.4%) reported that their children had asthma, dyspnea, or chest allergy (recurrent wheezing or coughing), while 478 (32.9%) of the parents reported that their children were diagnosed earlier with asthma by a physician. Therefore, the final statistical analyses were performed with 600 participants. Furthermore, 321 (53.5%) respondents believed that asthma is solely a hereditary disease. Interestingly, 361 (60.3%) were concerned about side effects of inhaled corticosteroids and 192 (32%) about the development of dependency on asthma medications. Almost 76% of parents had previously visited a pediatric emergency department during an asthma attack. Conclusions. Parents had misperceptions regarding asthma and exhibited ineffective practices in its management. Therefore, improving asthma care and compliance requires added parental education.