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Treatment Adherence in Adolescents with Asthma

Authors Kaplan A, Price D

Received 2 October 2019

Accepted for publication 9 December 2019

Published 14 January 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 39—49


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Amrita Dosanjh

Alan Kaplan, 1– 3 David Price 3, 4

1University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, Toronto, ON, Canada; 2Family Physician Airways Group of Canada, Edmonton, AB, Canada; 3Observational and Pragmatic Research Institute, Singapore, Singapore; 4Centre of Academic Primary Care, Division of Applied Health Sciences, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK

Correspondence: Alan Kaplan
University of Toronto Department of Family and Community Medicine, 7335 Yonge Street, Thornhill, Toronto ON, Canada
Tel +1 905 883 1100
Fax +1 905-884-1195

Abstract: The burden of asthma is particularly notable in adolescents, and is associated with higher rates of prevalence and mortality compared with younger children. One factor contributing to inadequate asthma control in adolescents is poor treatment adherence, with many pediatric studies reporting mean adherence rates of 50% or lower. Identifying the reasons for poor disease control and adherence is essential in order to help improve patient quality of life. In this review, we explore the driving factors behind non-adherence in adolescents with asthma, consider their consequences and suggest possible solutions to ensure better disease control. We examine the impact of appropriate inhaler choice and good inhaler technique on adherence, as well as discuss the importance of selecting the right medication, including the possible role of as-needed inhaled corticosteroids/long-acting β 2-agonists vs short-acting β 2-agonists, for improving outcomes in patients with mild asthma and poor adherence. Effective patient/healthcare practitioner communication also has a significant role to engage and motivate adolescents to take their medication regularly.

Keywords: asthma, adherence, adolescents, treatment

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