Non-compliance with asthma medication is at 30-70%: in children, this is often poor inhalation (not completing 4+ deep breaths per aerosol delivery), or parents not offering the drug because getting children to take it is stressful.
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background operant conditioning?
Operant conditioning proposes that positive reinforcement (rewards) cause behaviour to be repeated, as they become associated with the behaviour they followed.
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To investigate children’s acceptance of, ease of use, and compliance towards the Funhaler compared with their currently used spacer device.
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sampling method?
Random- sampled from 7 asthma clinics/paediatricians/GPs.
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sample characteristics?
22 male and 10 female children diagnosed with asthma a mean of 2.2yers prior, from socio-economically diverse areas of Perth, Australia. Mean age 3.2 years.
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Field experiment. Repeated measures design. Self-report measure.
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Parents contacted by phone for consent to complete surveys on adherence/ consent by proxy to administer the Funhaler to their child as the child is too young to give consent and understand the purpose of the study.
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procedure 1?
Were using Breath-a-tech Parents given questionnaire on adhering to offering children asthma medication and their child’s adherence to the technique: closed questions
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procedure 2?
Funhaler 2 wks- must take twice daily, and take 3 deep breaths per aerosol delivery * Questionnaire at end given to parents, matching the first questionnaire * Telephone interviews with parents selected at random from the sample.
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materials/ equitment? breath a tech
Breath-a-tech: pMDI attached to a small volume spacer device with a breathing mask for very young children.
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materials/ equitment? funhaler
pMDI attached to a spacer with an isolated incentive chamber containing a spinner and whistle, which is detachable so the toys can be changed. A one-way valve separates them to ensure the drug delivery is not compromised
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main findings?
22/30 (Funhaler) Vs 3/30 (Breath-a-tech) parents ‘always’ medicate child Delivers same amount of drug as Breath-a-tech 81% parents medicated child previous day compared with 59% when using Breath-a-tech
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main findings?
80% of children took the recommended 4+ breaths per aerosol delivery, compared with 50% for Breath-a-Tech Negative behavioural responses to taking medication, i.e. screaming when device was bought close to face or struggling was much less frequent
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Funhaler leads to fewer problems medicating children, and increased compliance to medical advice of frequency and technique when prescribed asthma medication.
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conclusions, 3 features?
the distraction of the bright colours and loud noise of the toys from the drug delivery event; the incentive of the toys which positively reinforce taking the medication and improve attitudes towards it as it is associated with something fun
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final conclusion?
and the increasing level of reinforcement given when breathing more deeply (faster spinning toy and louder whistle) which makes using the advised technique more rewarding.
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background operant conditioning?


Operant conditioning proposes that positive reinforcement (rewards) cause behaviour to be repeated, as they become associated with the behaviour they followed.

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sampling method?


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Card 5


sample characteristics?


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