Background. Few studies have explored how providers communicate about control medications during pediatric asthma visits. Objectives. The purpose of this study was to: (a) describe the extent to which providers discuss, educate, and ask children and their caregivers questions about control medications and (b) examine how child, caregiver, and provider characteristics are associated with provider communication about control medications during pediatric asthma visits. Methods. Children ages 8 through 16 with mild, moderate, or severe persistent asthma and their caregivers were recruited at five pediatric practices in nonurban areas of North Carolina. After audio-tape recording medical visits, caregivers completed questionnaires and children were interviewed. Generalized estimating equations were used to analyze the data. Results. Providers educated families about control medications during 61% of the visits, and they asked questions about control medications during 67% of visits. Providers were significantly more likely to discuss control medications if a child was taking a control medication, if the child had moderate to severe persistent asthma, and if the child was present for an asthma-related visit. Conclusion. Providers need to educate and ask more questions of families about side effects and how well control medications are working
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