The effectiveness of interventions to improve self-management for adolescents and young adults with allergic conditions: a systematic review

Rebecca C Knibb, Cherry Alviani, Teresa Garriga-Baraut, Charlotte G Mortz, Marta Vazquez-Ortiz, Elizabeth Angier, Katerina Blumchen, Pasquale Comberiati, Bettina Duca, Audrey DunnGalvin, Claudia Gore, Valerie Hox, Britt Jensen, Helena Pite, Alexandra F Santos, Silvia Sanchez-Garcia, M Hazel Gowland, Frans Timmermans, Graham Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: This systematic review aimed to review the literature on interventions for improving self-management and well-being in adolescents and young adults (11-25 years) with asthma and allergic conditions.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was undertaken across eight databases. References were checked by two reviewers for inclusion. Study data were extracted, and their quality was assessed in duplicate. A narrative synthesis was undertaken.

RESULTS: A total of 30 papers reporting data from 27 studies were included. Interventions types were psychological (k = 9); e-health (k = 8); educational (k = 4); peer-led (k = 5); breathing re-training (k = 1). All interventions were for asthma. Psychological interventions resulted in significant improvements in the intervention group compared with the control group for self-esteem, quality of life, self-efficacy, coping strategies, mood and asthma symptoms. E-Health interventions reported significant improvements for inhaler technique, adherence and quality of life. General educational interventions demonstrated significantly improved quality of life, management of asthma symptoms, controller medication use, increased use of a written management plan and reduction in symptoms. The peer-led interventions included the Triple A (Adolescent Asthma Action) programme and a peer-led camp based on the Power Breathing Programme. Improvements were found for self-efficacy, school absenteeism and quality of life.

CONCLUSION: Although significant improvements were seen for all intervention types, many were small feasibility or pilot studies, few studies reported effect sizes and no studies for allergic conditions other than asthma met the inclusion criteria. Research using large longitudinal interventional designs across the range of allergic conditions is required to strengthen the evidence base.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1881-1898
Number of pages18
Issue number8
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Knibb, R.C., Alviani, C., Garriga‐Baraut, T., Mortz, C.G., Vazquez‐Ortiz, M., Angier, E., Blumchen, K., Comberiati, P., Duca, B., DunnGalvin, A., Gore, C., Hox, V., Jensen, B., Pite, H., Santos, A.F., Sanchez‐Garcia, S., Gowland, M.H., Timmermans, F. and Roberts, G. (2020), The effectiveness of interventions to improve self‐management for adolescents and young adults with allergic conditions: a systematic review. Allergy, which has been published in final form at  This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.


  • adolescent
  • allergy
  • asthma
  • interventions
  • young adult


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