Support from parents and healthcare providers is critical in helping adolescents manage their asthma care, according to a study published in the Journal of Asthma.

Researchers explored whether improving adolescent self-efficacy in controlling their asthma is linked with QOL and asthma control. “Adolescent self-efficacy and outcome expectations are important components of social cognitive theory, on which we based our research,” said Betsy Sleath, PhD, and colleagues, who recruited 359 participants aged 11-17 with asthma from several pediatric clinics. Adolescents in the study were interviewed by researchers while parents completed questionnaires and data were evaluated through multiple linear regression.

Greater Responsibility Linked With Older, Male Adolescents

The study team found that males, older adolescents, and patients with better asthma management self-efficacy were strongly correlated with greater responsibility. However, responsibility was not significantly associated with outcome expectations.

In almost all asthma management assignments, adolescent assessments of their own responsibility were higher than those of their parents. Young people who reported higher asthma management self-efficacy had a greater likelihood of asthma control and QOL, while those who anticipated more positive outcomes were more likely to have better asthma control.

More Focus Needed on Native American & Black Adolescents

“Our findings further illustrate the need for both parents and providers to work with adolescents so that they gain confidence or self-efficacy in managing their asthma,” the study authors wrote.

Dr. Sleath and colleagues did observe that “being Native American was correlated with worse QOL and asthma not being controlled and being Black was linked with asthma not being controlled.” Therefore, they wrote, “providers need to especially work with Native American and Black adolescents to improve QOL and asthma control.”