Studies indicate asthma morbidity can be diminished through asthma education. Our study investigated how adolescents obtained information about asthma, their preferences on accessing asthma education and whether this differed among those controlled vs. uncontrolled based on the asthma control test (ACT).
A cross-sectional design using data from an adolescent population who had the diagnosis of asthma and received health care at a University Primary Care Clinic (UPCC). Through telephone conversation, participants were administered the ACT then questioned on current and desirable access to asthma education.
Twenty-seven adolescents participated in the study. Descriptive analyses were conducted to examine demographic variables, resources used by adolescents and internet use for asthma information. 44% of adolescents were considered poorly controlled (score ≤ 19) and 55.6% were considered well-controlled based on ACT. Although 81% preferred use of internet to gain knowledge on asthma, less than half of the adolescents (33%) used the internet for asthma education. The majority obtained asthma information from a family member (56%), while only 40% desired to utilize family members as a source for asthma education. Patients with well-controlled asthma were more likely to obtain asthma education (60%) compared to poorly controlled patients (40%).
Overall, adolescents were more likely to rely on family members versus internet regarding knowledge on management of their asthma even though they showed an interest in using asthma education through internet. This emphasizes the importance of educating both adolescents and their caregivers regarding asthma care and finding ways to improve access to online education.