Inhaled corticosteroid beliefs, complementary and alternative medicine, and uncontrolled asthma in urban minority adults

Maureen George, Maxim Topaz, Cynthia Rand, Marilyn Sawyer Sommers, Karen Glanz, Michael V. Pantalon, Jun J. Mao, Judy A. Shea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Many factors contribute to uncontrolled asthma; negative inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) beliefs and complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) endorsement are 2 that are more prevalent in black compared with white adults. Objectives This mixed-methods study (1) developed and psychometrically tested a brief self-administered tool with low literacy demands to identify negative ICS beliefs and CAM endorsement and (2) evaluated the clinical utility of the tool as a communication prompt in primary care.

MethodsComprehensive literature reviews and content experts identified candidate items for our instrument that were distributed to 304 subjects for psychometric testing. In the second phase content analysis of 33 audio-recorded primary care visits provided a preliminary evaluation of the instrument's clinical utility.

Results Psychometric testing of the instrument identified 17 items representing ICS beliefs (α =.59) and CAM endorsement (α =.68). Test-retest analysis demonstrated a high level of reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.77 for CAM items and 0.79 for ICS items). We found high rates of CAM endorsement (93%), negative ICS beliefs (68%), and uncontrolled asthma (69%). CAM endorsement was significantly associated with uncontrolled asthma (P =.04). Qualitative data analysis provided preliminary evidence for the instrument's clinical utility in that knowledge of ICS beliefs and CAM endorsement prompted providers to initiate discussions with patients.

Conclusion Negative ICS beliefs and CAM endorsement were common and associated with uncontrolled asthma. A brief self-administered instrument that identifies beliefs and behaviors that likely undermine ICS adherence might be a leveraging tool to change the content of communications during clinic visits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1252-1259
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014


  • Asthma
  • adherence
  • beliefs
  • black
  • complementary and alternative medicine
  • inhaled corticosteroids
  • instrument development
  • minority
  • mixed methods
  • patient-provider communication
  • self-management
  • urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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