Purpose of the Study. To determine the learning styles of the caregivers of asthmatic children seen in a pediatric allergy and immunology clinic.
Study Population. Parents of asthmatic children seen in a tertiary care pediatric allergy and immunology clinic.
Methods. Caregivers completed the Visual-Aural-Read/Write-Kinesthetic (VARK) questionnaire anonymously, and the responses were evaluated on the basis of previously validated scoring instructions.
Results. Analysis of 98 respondents showed that 42% had a single learning-modality preference, and the remaining 58% were multimodal learners. Of those who reported a single mode of learning, 61% preferred kinesthetic, 27% preferred reading/writing, and <1% each preferred aural or visual stimuli. Of all 98 caregivers, 82% included kinesthetic as a learning preference, 59% included reading/writing, 50% included aural stimuli, and 41% included visual stimuli.
Conclusions. The majority of caregivers preferred the kinesthetic learning method, whether as a single learning preference or in combination with other approaches. Incorporating kinesthetic methods of learning, such as role playing and problem-solving case scenarios, into standardized asthma education curricula may be beneficial to patients and families in terms of understanding and using their regimen.
Reviewer Comments. This is a novel study that attempted to improve asthma care by identifying the learning preferences of the caretakers of asthmatic children. Asthma regimens can be complex, and simplification and understanding of these regimens can improve overall adherence. Individual caretakers demonstrate multiple modes of learning preference, and the current educational modules should focus on role playing and other visual modalities to enhance the understanding of the caretakers’ asthma knowledge. Streamlining and improving these educational methods could result in significant improvement in medication adherence, symptom recognition, and appropriate utilization of medical care.
- Copyright © 2006 by the American Academy of Pediatrics