Child’s adherence to asthma medication treatment depends on family characteristics
BackgroundBased on previous studies children’s asthma medication adherence is weak. We examined family characteristics linked to asthma medication adherence among Finnish children.
MethodsWe identified all 1–13-year-old children who received an entitlement for special reimbursement of asthma medication in 1995–2017 (n=80,167) from the registers of Statistics Finland and the Social Insurance Institution. We measured medication adherence in the calendar year following the first entitlement for special reimbursement by the number of purchases of asthma controller medications (min. 3/year) and by the share of controller medication purchases of all purchased asthma medication purchases (min. 50 %). We used Poisson-regression for the analysis.
Results56 % of the children were adherent when adherence was measured by the number of controller medication purchases and 92 % when measured by the share of controller medications. Adherence increased between 1996–2018. Adherence was weakest in families using other languages than Finnish or Swedish and in families with low parental education.
ConclusionsAsthma medication adherence has improved, but it is still weak. Social inequalities exist in the asthma treatment of Finnish children. Non-adherence, particularly among children with foreign-language backgrounds and low parental education should be addressed.
Nina Jokirinne, Heta Moustgaard, Elina Hiltunen, Pekka Martikainen