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Asthma and self-management: Improving support for teenagers

02 August 2022
Volume 3 · Issue 4


The prevalence and severity of allergic diseases is still rising in those aged 11–25 years (Venkataraman et al, 2018; Mallol et al, 2019). An estimated 800 000 teenagers in the UK have asthma. This figure could be higher as teenagers can have undiagnosed asthma (Siersted et al, 1998; BTS/SIGN, 2019).

A person-centred approach to all aspects of care is central to supporting adolescents to self-manage their asthma and therefore minimise concerns around morbidity and mortality. School nurses have a key role in communicating strategies that support self-management, and the use of tools can be helpful.

I It has been known for nearly 20 years that teenagers with asthma are a distinct group of patients with different treatment requirements from either paediatric or adult patients; for example, because of health issues linked to smoking, peer pressure, and adherence (Price, 1996). It is estimated that around 800 000 teenagers in the UK have asthma. This figure could be higher as teenagers can have undiagnosed asthma (Siersted et al, 1998; British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network [BTS/SIGN], 2019). The prevalence and severity of allergic diseases and asthma still continues to rise in those aged 11–25 years (Venkataraman et al, 2018; Mallol et al, 2019).

Adolescence is certainly a high-risk time for many people with asthma, with an increased risk of asthma-related morbidity and mortality (Akuthota et al, 2021; Christie and Viner, 2005). Couriel (2003) suggested that the care of teenagers with asthma, who have differing needs from children or adults with the condition, has been largely neglected.

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