Over the last three decades, allergic diseases and asthma have become increasingly prevalent throughout the world and the trend continues upwards. These diseases are noted both in children and adults, and across all social classes.
Asthma affects people of all ages and the most common chronic respiratory disease among adults and children and the third leading cause of hospitalizations. According to the United Nation Daily Highlights, asthma kills over 180,000 people worldwide annually. The Philippines is ranked 32nd in "self-reported asthma" and the country has a prevalence rate of about 12%. It affects over six million Filipinos. Over all, one out of 10 Filipinos has asthma, based on a Philippine General Hospital survey (www.senate.gov.ph).
This complex disorder involves biochemical, immunologic, endocrine, infectious and psychologic factors. It is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. Sometimes symptoms are mild and go away on their own or after minimal treatment with an asthma medicine. At other times, symptoms continue to get worse. When symptoms get more intense and/or additional symptoms appear, this is an asthma attack. Asthma attacks also are called flare ups or exacerbations.
Despite nationwide efforts to manage asthma, the adverse outcomes of asthma continue to increase. Asthma is a complex problem that is affected by individual and family behaviors, health policy, the health care system, schools, housing and the environment and other social, economic and cultural factors. Patient education is an essential component of proper asthma management, though knowledge acquisition does not always translate into preventive or prescribed behaviors that could help improve health outcomes.
People everywhere and in every age have struggled with asthma, a chronic disease that affects the airways, that carry air in and out of the lungs. Many factors can provoke an asthma attack, such as allergens, airborne, irritants, viral infections, or occupational exposure to items such as noxious smoke.
In the Philippines, alternative therapies are used to treat asthma particularly in barrios where health facilities and supplies are scarce. The use of traditional therapy and medicines has been embedded in the Philippine culture. The knowledge and skills on the curative application of alternative therapy and medicines has been handed down from generation to generation. That is why this has been a common practice and is widely accepted in the society.
With these, behaviors of people are greatly regarded for choosing such alternative therapy or medicine. Because health and illness are complex concepts, it is essential to understand the relationships between these concepts and the client's attitudes towards health.
These are the reasons why the researcher wanted to study the knowledge, skills and attitudes of patients' with asthma in relation to their ways and strategies to manage their ways and strategies to manage their asthma because the researcher herself had asthma since childhood. Despite all the newest treatment modalities that the researcher have tried, these disease had always been and until now still experience having an asthma every now and then. On the other hand, these could somehow help other asthmatic clients control their asthma attacks and improve their quality of life.