Caregiver and pediatric provider perspectives on symptom-based inhaled corticosteroid therapy in asthma

Tiffany Dy, Ericka M. Lewis, Vithya Murugan, Sarah Gehlert, Juanita Taylor, Jane Garbutt, Leonard B. Bacharier, Mario Castro, Kaharu Sumino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objectives: Guidelines recommend that healthcare providers adjust the dose of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in asthma patients based on the degree of symptom severity and control. Symptom-based, intermittent ICS therapy (use of ICS together with short acting bronchodilators- symptom-based adjustment: SBA) has been demonstrated to be comparable to guideline-based management by providers in controlled clinical trials. We sought input from African American caregivers and pediatricians on the acceptability and barriers for this alternative management strategy. Methods: Focus group interviews of caregivers and individual interviews with community providers of African-American children ages 6–17 years with mild-moderate persistent asthma were conducted by trained facilitators to assess perceptions of how asthma affects children and their caregivers, and of SBA as a management strategy. Interview data were transcribed and analyzed using inductive thematic based coding. Results: Twenty-six parents participated in six focus groups. Fourteen pediatricians were interviewed. Caregivers reported facing financial burden and difficulty with tracking medications. Caregivers and pediatricians were favorable about SBA, citing its potential for decreased use of medications and cost and similarity to actual care provided. Some caregivers voiced concern that SBA would not be as effective as daily ICS. Caregivers suggested that education on symptom recognition and close communication between physician and patient would facilitate the implementation of SBA. Conclusions: SBA was generally viewed favorably by caregivers and providers of African American children. However, concerns regarding effectiveness of SBA were voiced by both caregivers and providers. Patient education and provider-patient communication is important in implementing this alternative asthma management strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalRespiratory Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Adherence
  • Intermittent therapy
  • Patient centered treatment
  • Qualitative study


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