BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Despite literature that spans twenty years describing the barriers to asthma self-management in adolescents, successful, clinically-based interventions to address this important issue are lacking. Given the limitations of some of the previous studies, we conducted a study that aimed to gain a broader insight into barriers and facilitators to self-management of asthma by adolescents, not just adherence to treatment, and triangulated their views with those of their parents and healthcare professionals.
METHODS: Focus groups and interviews were conducted separately for 28 adolescents with asthma aged 12-18 years, 14 healthcare professionals, and 12 parents. Focus groups and interviews were audio-recorded and transcripts from each participant group were analysed separately using inductive thematic analysis. We triangulated the three perspectives by comparing themes that had emerged from each analysis.
RESULTS: Adolescents', parents', and healthcare professionals' views were summarised into ten related themes that included forgetting and routines, knowledge, embarrassment and confidence, communication with healthcare professionals, triggers, support at school, apathy, and taking responsibility. We found that adolescents, parents and healthcare professionals raised similar barriers and facilitators to self-management and our results provide further validation for previous studies.
CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Our study highlights that healthcare professionals may need to consider a range of psychological and contextual issues influencing adolescents' ability to effectively self-manage their asthma, in particular, how they implement treatment routines and the understanding that adolescents have of their condition and treatments. Crucially, healthcare professionals need to consider how this information is communicated and ensure they facilitate open, inclusive, two-way consultations. From this more comprehensive understanding, we have developed interventional strategies that healthcare professionals can utilise to empower adolescents to improve their asthma self-management. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.