Assessment of knowledge and education relating to asthma during pregnancy among women of childbearing age

Mohammed O. Al Ghobain, Mohammed AlNemer and Mohammad Khan

Abstract

Background

Misconceptions about medications’ safety can lead pregnant women with asthma to stop their medications, resulting in asthma-related neonatal morbidity and mortality. Our aim was to assess the level of pregnancy-related asthma knowledge and education about asthma medications’ safety, among women of childbearing age with a history of bronchial asthma.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey of convenience sample of outpatient clinic attendees of Pulmonary, Family Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology among women of childbearing age with history of asthma at King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Participants (n = 171) completed a questionnaire to determine levels of education and knowledge, as well as attitudes and practice relating to asthma treatment.

Results

Among participants, 77.1% were pregnant at the time of the survey, 77.8% had used asthma medications during current or previous pregnancy, 70.8% of all respondents who ever been pregnant believed in the safety of asthma medications during pregnancy, 49.1% had received education about asthma, and 46.8% had been educated about the safety of asthma medications during pregnancy. Responses indicated that 46.8% had stopped (or expressed the desire to stop) asthma medications during pregnancy, and 48% believed asthma medications would harm them and their babies more than asthma itself, but 92.4% expressed that they would be willing to use asthma medications during pregnancy if their safety was confirmed by a physician. Education level and employment status were both associated with an increased likelihood of having received asthma education (p values <0.001 and <0.001 respectively), and with awareness of the safety of the medications during pregnancy (p values <0.001 and <0.003 respectively).

Conclusion

Further efforts is to be taken to develop a program where female asthmatic patients are taught about asthma and its medications’ safety during pregnancy.

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Editor: Juan C. Ivancevich, MD

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