Pathway into care for pediatric asthma
Palmer, Alexandra Marie
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Studies have demonstrated that patients may not adhere to the treatment prescribed by the physician because their respective models of the disease are different. Studies have also demonstrated that the patient may feel inferior to the health care provider and not share his or her model with the doctor for fear of being perceived as ignorant. The interaction between the provider and patient is especially significant to asthma because asthma is a chronic condition that may require management for life. However, there is a gap in the social science literature for studies related to asthma. This thesis presents the way pediatric asthma health care providers and a sample of Boston Puerto Rican parents of children with asthma perceive asthma based on data collected through informal interviews. Puerto Ricans are one of the Latino subgroups who remain most at risk for asthma morbidity and are the most represented Latino subgroup in Boston. Research tends to generalize all of the Latino subgroups and it is important to consider each one separately in order to develop effective public health prevention and intervention strategies. Making each other aware of the other's asthma model will provide an avenue to help the health care providersand Puerto Ricans work together through any differences to an agreed-upon management regimen for the child's asthma. An understanding of why the health care provider is suggesting a particular treatment and why the patient is managing the disease in a particular way may help improve outcomes.
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