BACKGROUND: Many adolescents have poor asthma control and impaired quality of life despite the availability of modern pharmacotherapy. Research suggests that poor adherence to treatment and limited engagement in self-management could be contributing factors.
OBJECTIVE: To conduct a systematic review of the barriers and facilitators to self-management of asthma reported by adolescents using a narrative synthesis approach to integrate the findings.
DESIGN: MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched for all types of study design. Full papers were retrieved for study abstracts that included data from participants aged 12-18 years referring to barriers or facilitators of asthma self-management behaviors.
RESULTS: Sixteen studies (5 quantitative and 11 qualitative) underwent data extraction, quality appraisal, and thematic analysis. Six key themes were generated that encompassed barriers and/or facilitators to self-management of asthma in adolescents: Knowledge, Lifestyle, Beliefs and Attitudes, Relationships, Intrapersonal Characteristics, and Communication.
CONCLUSIONS: There is a pressing need to prepare adolescents for self-management, using age-appropriate strategies that draw on the evidence we have synthesized. Current clinical practice should focus on ensuring adolescents have the correct knowledge, beliefs, and positive attitude to self-manage their illness. This needs to be delivered in a supportive environment that facilitates two-way communication, fosters adolescents' self-efficacy to manage their disease, and considers the wider social influences that impinge on self-management. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016; 9999:XX-XX. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.