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KAP Study Regarding Asthma Sufferers in Trinidad, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1556

Research Paper

Introduction

“Studies which examine Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) are widely used” (Hubley, 1993), especially in outreach programs and in public health. The concept behind the study is to examine how specific clients feel about interventions provided to them. KAP Studies are especially useful when targeting specialized audiences. In the case of this study the targeted population consisted of 99 patients residing in Trinidad. “These patients were all being treated for asthmatic symptoms were using blue inhalers filled with salbutamol/ventolin” (The Pharmaceutical Journal 279[7473]: 404-405). “Some of these same patients were also being treated with an inhaled steroid inhaler, color coded brown” (WebMD, 2010). The questionnaire/survey that was used was a simple instrument had been distributed by an intern at the clinic where all of these patients were being treated. Ninety-nine patients responded to the following questions.

Methods/Questionnaire

Question 1: Asked patients if they always had the correct inhaler medication on their person. 45% strongly agreed that they always had their proper medication with them while another 25% agreed they carried their medicine with them. In other words 70% responded affirmatively while the remainder were neutral or disagreed.

Question 2:  Asked if patients always remembered to take their inhalers with them when leaving home. To our surprise their answers were 37% in strong agreement while an almost equal number, 35% disagreed. Because asthma, under certain circumstances, can be life-threatening, it is necessary to forewarn those patients sometimes leaving their medicine at home that they may be putting themselves at extreme risk.

Question 3: Asked patients about rinsing their mouth after using their medication. The question is important because certain inhaled steroids can cause throat irritation, blood pressure elevations, and other serious side-effects. 18% strongly agreed that they rinsed their mouth while almost 40% agreed to rinsing. However, almost 30% disagreed, putting these patients at risk.

Question 4: Asked if patients found it easy to remember to take their medication regularly. 45% strongly agreed while 40% agreed, thus leaving only 15% who were neutral or disagreed. Typically patients who suffer the most usually remember the best to take their needed medication.

Question 5: Asked about getting consistent inhaler refills at the local pharmacy. 18% strong agreed while 52% agreed. Thus, 70% of the patients received their medication regularly from their pharmacy while the remaining 30% did not. Sometimes pharmacy inventories are spotty; pharmacy owners need to be made aware that patients’ inhaler stock needs to be kept current.

Question 6: Asked if carrying personal medication is a problem. Almost everybody strongly disagreed or simply disagreed. Inhalers are lightweight, relatively small, and usually can easily fit into a shirt or trouser pocket or a lady’s purse. The few who found carrying their medication to be inconvenient would probably have produced the same results regardless of where they stored their medication on their person.

Question 7: Wondered if they were being given the right medication. 12% strongly wondered while 40% wondered. The remainder of the patients were equally neutral or disagreed while only 3% strongly disagreed. The question produced enough question that patients are urged to speak with their medical care professionals, especially if after using their medication, they still are having difficulty breathing.

Question 8: Questioned patients if they felt in control of their medical conditions? Although about 60% of the patients felt they were in control, 45% felt they did not have control. The incidence rate between those in control and those out of control was almost equally balanced. We feel that person physicians need to exercise more caution with almost 50% of their patients.

Question 9: When I use my medication, I feel assured that it will control my chest condition. 75% of the patients felt their medication was helpful while only 25% expressed concern. Because asthma can be life-threatening, these 25% should speak with their physicians.

Question10: I use my inhaler with confidence. Almost 80% of the patients had confidence n the use of their inhalers.

Question 11: Using multiple inhalers can be cumbersome. 20% agreed but a much greater number, 50% disagreed. The rest of the patients were spread out evenly along the continuum.

Question 12: Asked patients if they would recommend their medicine to others with a similar condition. 20% strongly agreed while 45% simply agreed. The remaining patients were neutral or disagreed. Patients need to be reminded that based upon other existing conditions, patients are not all alike. While it may be okay to suggest one inhaler or another, patients should not make further decisions without seeking the advice of a qualified medical professional.

Question13: Asked if the inhaler medication could be made easier to take. 15% strongly agreed while another 20% agreed. But the greatest number, 40%, by their disagreement, found the medicine was easy enough to take.

Question 14: skipped.

Question 15: Asked f the medication provided relief of patients’ symptoms. 30% strongly agreed and 45% agreed. This question implied that only about 25% of the patients questioned their relief.

Question 16: Asked patients about self-consciousness when using their medications. 40% disagreed and an additional 25% strongly disagreed about issues of self-consciousness. The inhalers are small enough that they should be able to be taken in private, such as a closet, a bathroom, etc.

Question 17: Asked patients if they had the inhaler usage demonstrated properly. 15% strongly agreed, 50% agreed, but almost 25% remained neutral. Some patients need repeated demonstrations to get the most relief from their inhalers.

Question 18: My blue inhaler is used to relieve my symptoms. 12% strongly agreed while 50% agreed, but 25% remained neutral. The neutral patients and those in disagreement should be urged to speak with their physicians.

Question 19: My blue inhaler is used to prevent long-term attacks. 10% strongly agreed, 39% agreed, 25% remained neutral, 17% disagreed, and 9% strongly disagreed. More doctor-patient interaction is indicated in this question. Patients need to know exactly what they can expect from their inhalation therapy.

Question 20: Skipped.

Question 21: I always know when my device is finished. 20% strongly agreed, 45% agreed, and 25% disagreed, with the remainder split between neutral and strong disagreement. It should not be that difficult for a patient to know when to replace his inhaler. With practice, weight can be an identifying factor. When the inhaler no longer sprays, or sprays sporadically, it usually means the contents have just about been used up.

Question 22: I use both inhalers to control my condition. The blue inhaler is usually a short-term inhaler while the brown inhaler will not work quickly but will give more lasting control. There is almost a 60%:40% split to this question. 60% of the patients acknowledge needing both inhalers and 40% of the patients acknowledge needing only one inhaler.

Question 23: Inhalers contain dangerous steroids. With the exception of strongly disagree, almost all the answers were approximately equal. Patients need to be better informed that short term inhalers rarely contain steroids while long-term inhalers are almost all steroidal.

Question 24: Asked about a throat infection from using inhalers. 10% strongly agreed while 20% agreed. 25% were neutral and the greatest number, 40% disagreed. After use, it’s important to rinse the medicine from the patient’s mouth. It’s also important to keep the inhaler clean as the mouthpiece will collect germs from the patient’s mouth.

Question 25: Asked if the quantity of medication dispersed is appropriate for the patient’s condition.  10% strongly agreed, 42% agreed, 22% were neutral and 40% disagreed. Medicine is dispersed in pre-measured doses. If the medication is not working properly, the patient’s physician might want to use a different drug.

Results/Discussion

From the examination of the descriptive statistics discussed in the preceding questions, it can be estimated that the majority of patients are satisfied with the inhalers being provided to them. However, there are some patients who don’t feel that the drugs being provided are meeting their medical objectives. These patients need to make their physicians aware of their concerns and question whether other drugs will provide better relief for their symptoms. “All the physicians and other health-care professionals involved in this study need to make it clear to their patients that asthma is a disease that is best treated before symptoms occur than to wait until after an attack has started” (Tunnicliffe, 2008). Likewise, all patients need to understand that asthma can be life-threatening. If treatment is consistent and attacks are still occurring or are getting worse, immediate care should be rendered.

Conclusion

Up through the end of the 19th Century, “asthma was a little-understood disease that was treated by igniting sulfur in a Petri Dish and inhaling the vapors” (Grady, 2006). The 20th and 21st Centuries brought remarked improvement to the treatment of asthma. Both short-term and long-term use inhalers are now in wide use throughout the civilized world. Medical professionals need to make sure that those patients with the greatest need are provided with these miracle-drug inhalers. These professionals need to help patients understand that major relief can come from daily inhalation therapy. These patients need to have a solid relationship with their personal medical staff and need to rely upon the sound medical judgment of the medical staff available to serve patients’ needs.

References

Grady, D. (November 28, 2006). The New York Times, Health Section. An epidemic no one understands.

Hubley, J. (1993). Communicating health: An action guide to health education and health promotion. Available from TALC.

The Pharmaceutical Journal 279 (7473). Ventolin means a breath of fresh air for asthma sufferers: 404-405.

Tunnicliffe, W., FRCP. (2008). Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, England. WebMD, 2010.

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