The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2023 , Vol 65 , Num 5
The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term treatment compliance and disease control in children with persistent asthma
Sevilay Özerden Özcan 1 ,Sinem Polat Terece 2 ,Gamze Yalçın 1 ,Hacer İlbilge Ertoy Karagöl 2 ,Arzu Bakırtaş 2
1 Department of Pediatrics, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara
2 Department of Pediatric Allergy, Gazi University School of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye
DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2023.107 Background. No long-term data exists on asthma treatment compliances (ATC), exacerbations (AE), and control (AC) during the COVID-19 pandemic in children. This study aimed to evaluate ATC, AE, AC and the related factors among children with persistent asthma (PA) within the first year of the pandemic

Methods. Children aged 6-18 years with PA who were under regular inhaled corticosteroid treatment for at least a year prior to the first COVID-19 case in Türkiye were included. Data on AE and AC were collected from medical files. Factors affecting ATC and AC as well as COVID-19 history were assessed by means of a questionnaire.

Results. The study included 247 cases. COVID-19 was detected in 14.5% of them. In the first year of the pandemic, ATC decreased to 56.7% and the most common reason was the absence of asthma symptoms. There was a significant improvement in AC (p<0.001). The number of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and AE were significantly decreased during the first year of the pandemic (p<0.001). COVID-19 infection, smoking in the household, school attendance, a family member working outside the home, house dust mite sensitization or allergic rhinitis had no significant effect on AC (p>0.05). Regression analysis determined that children who did not have any URTI had 2.4 times better AC compared to those who had (p= 0.02; %95 CI: 1.1-5.4).

Conclusions. Although ATC decreased significantly in the long-term in the first year of the pandemic, significant improvement was observed in AE and AC compared to the previous year, which was related only to not having URTI. Keywords : asthma, children, compliance, COVID-19, exacerbation, treatment

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