Background: Dust mites are the primary indoor allergen risk for increasing asthma attacks and morbidity. Adherence to allergen avoidance recommendations decreases bronchial reactivity and asthma morbidity. Objective: This study compared the knowledge and practice of environmental control advice of families of children with asthma seen by an allergist or a pediatrician. Studies suggest that knowledge and practice of environmental control recommendations is inconsistent. Methods: Subjects were aged 6 to 17 years, diagnosed with asthma, and had positive skin test to dust mites. There were 114 eligible pediatric patients, and 69 had also seen an allergist before the study. An in-home evaluation was completed during which parents were asked about environmental control knowledge and practice. An environmental technician then completed a walk-through evaluation to observe which recommendations were implemented in the home. Results: Families who saw an allergist demonstrated significantly greater awareness of environmental control recommendations for dust mite allergens than those who had not. Knowledge and placement of allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers was significantly higher in these families. However, 30% of families who saw an allergist reported no knowledge of any environmental control recommendations for dust mites. Less than half of the allergist families (48%) who were advised to use mattress encasements actually had encasements on their children's beds. Conclusions: The parents of dust mite-sensitive, asthmatic children who saw an allergist were more aware of dust mite allergen control recommendations and made more indoor environmental changes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine