Providing dust mite-proof covers improves adherence to dust mite control measures in children with mite allergy and asthma.Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2003; 90(5):550-3AA
The most critical dust mite avoidance technique for asthmatic children with mite allergy is the use of dust mite-proof bedding covers. Adherence to allergen control measures is poor due to cost. The purpose of this study was to determine whether giving families mite-proof bedding encasings at the time of the diagnosis with mite allergy would improve adherence at a home visit 2 months later.
Parents of children (mean age 7.7 years) with asthma and positive skin tests for dust mite were assigned either to an intervention group, which received dust mite covers upon enrollment or a comparison group, which did not. Both groups were instructed in dust mite control measures by a medical provider and told to invest in the covers as part of standard care. Two months after enrollment, parent report and observational measures from each family were obtained during a home visit.
The group provided allergen encasings was found to be significantly more likely to have used the casings at the home visit, t(22) = 2.77, P < 0.05. There were no differences between groups in adherence to other mite control strategies. Parenting stress was significantly related to poorer mite control compliance. The most common reason reported for nonadherence to control measures was cost.
Providing mite bedding encasings at the time of diagnosis significantly increases compliance at a 2-month home visit. Medicaid and insurance companies should be encouraged to pay for casings as a cost effective measure to improve asthma care in children with mite allergy.