Having a medication available in the home is a prerequisite to medication adherence. Our objectives with this study are to assess asthma medication readiness among low-income urban minority preschool-aged children, and the association between beliefs about medications and medication readiness.
During a baseline assessment, a research assistant visited the home to administer a caregiver survey and observe 5 criteria in the medication readiness index: the physical presence and expiration status of medications, the counter status of metered-dose inhalers, and caregiver knowledge of medication type and dosing instructions.
Of 288 enrolled children (mean age 4.2 years [SD: 0.7], 92% African American, 60% boys), 277 (96%) of their caregivers reported a rescue medication, but only 79% had it in the home, and only 60% met all 5 of the medication readiness criteria. Among the 161 children prescribed a controller medication, only 79% had it in the home, and only 49% met all 5 readiness criteria. Fewer worries and concerns about medications were associated with higher odds of meeting all 5 readiness criteria for controller medications.
Inadequate availability of asthma medications in the home is a barrier to adherence among low-income urban preschoolers. Assessment of medication readiness should be incorporated into clinical care because this is an underrecognized barrier to adherence, and interventions are needed to improve medication management and knowledge to increase adherence.