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To assess whether participation in the SAGE study, a non-interventional child health cohort study, impacted on behavior change of study participants.
Among children sensitized to house dust mites (HDM), families will modify their home environment if the child has asthma.
This was an analysis of the SAGE nested case-control, comprised of children with asthma (40%), no asthma and no allergy (40%), and rhinitis no asthma (20%). 486 children were seen at 8-10 years and again at 12-13 years. All children were assessed by a pediatric allergist and had skin testing to common aeroallergens. At 8-10 years, the families of children with a positive sensitization to HDM received an information brochure on environmental control for HDM. Parent modification of their home environment was defined as encasement of the child’s mattress or pillow and/or removal of carpet for the child’s bedroom.
113 of the 486 children were sensitized to HDM (D.pteronyssinus or D.farinae). Of the 113 families, 49 undertook a home environment change. 30/49 (61%) of parents had children with asthma and 19/49 (39%) did not. Interestingly, the percent of parents who modified their environment did not significantly differ between those with asthmatic children (44%) and those with healthy children (42%).
Almost two-thirds of the families in the SAGE study made changes to their home environment because of HDM sensitization in their asthmatic child. However, these families were no more likely to change their environment than families with a child without asthma. We need to better understand the factors involved with parents’ willingness to modify their home environment for a child with asthma.