Young people and asthma
Young people with asthma have unique needs. Asthma Australia is addressing this through our National Young People and Asthma Strategy (NYPAS). Responding to your suggestions we are building our online resources to provide options that help you with your asthma needs.
Get connected with other young people through our Facebook page to see the latest research and developments. You can also have your questions about your asthma answered by experts.
Our new app 'KISS MY ASTHMA' is almost ready! More information about this on 1 May 2017. The app will be launched on World Asthma Day, 2 May 2017.
With over half of all young people with asthma also experiencing mental health issues, we teamed up with Pedro Diaz from the Mental Health Recovery Institute to develop a series of videos. Here are the four short videos released on our Facebook page, plus two longer and previously unreleased videos on self-care and self-management.
To watch the playlist of all the videos, click here
Asthma Australia and the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre developed an online survey to identify issues for young people aged 12-25 years who have asthma. 533 young people from across Australia informed us about what its like for a young person to have asthma, how they manage this and what it means for their lifestyle. The results are summarised for you in this infographic:
A selection of suggestions from young people who completed the survey:
- More social media awareness of asthma targeted at young people.
- Asthma Foundations do talks at schools to show everyone that asthma is a medical condition and is in no way related to being nerdy or unfit etc. so kids with asthma don't feel embarrassed about using their inhaler.
- For places of interest such as clubs, pubs, restaurants, festivals etc to be asthma aware and have available resources on hand or nearby for patrons.
- A way (maybe an app) to monitor control of asthma, so evaluating asthma plan is easier, it would be a way to easily keep track of attacks and symptoms and medication use and dosage would make doctors appointments easier.
- I believe information sessions for primary school children would be good. I was bullied throughout primary school because no body understood why I needed the inhaler, or couldn't play sport if I had a cold.
- Campaign to reduce negative stigma and stereotypes.
- I think that as we rely on the internet and technology, it would be clever to have more ads or apps or programs where you can find information on asthma. This may be an app with personal asthma recording, one on one messenger chats with an expert, advice, breathing exercises etc..
Dig into the research and you find statements such as:
Asthma can be difficult to manage in young people due to the often intermittent pattern of the disease (Benedictis & Bush, 2007), a lack of understanding around the condition and why they need to take their daily medications (Sawyer et al, 1997) and an inaccurate perception of asthma symptoms and inability in accurately recognising these (Rhee et al, 2011).
As is the case with adults, adolescents also overestimate how well their asthma is controlled (Britto et al, 2011), and this inaccurate perception increases the likelihood of “hospitalisations, ED visits and missed days from school compared with those who have accurate perceptions” (Rhee et al, 2011).
So what can you do to help manage your asthma?
Young People with Asthma – Australia.
Keep up to date with the latest asthma research and information. Also, you can now have questions about your asthma answered by experts at any time. Simply ask via a post, or if you prefer, through the private message function. So log in and ask away on the page.
Medications and devices
Once you understand how these work, its easier to get into good habits. Check out the links here to find out about your medication, device technique, asthma control and side effects.
School sessions for students
Asthma Australia visits primary and secondary schools to help all students gain an understanding of asthma. Ask your class/home group teacher to contact their local Asthma Foundation to arrange a session for your class or the whole school – 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278462). Our new video, 'Between Life and Breath', is designed specifically for secondary students - tell your Health and Physical Education teacher!
Younger brother or sister?
Tell then about Asthma Kids – for all primary school aged kids with videos and Chester’s Asthma Trail that help them understand about asthma – its fun too with prizes!
Your local Asthma Foundation
Want to know your Asthma Control Score? Our trained staff can work with you over the phone to help you manage your asthma. If you want they can follow you up at regular intervals to see how its going. This service is available Australia wide and your information is confidential. Either phone us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278462) or register here.
As highlighted above in the new video section, over 50% of the young people with asthma surveyed are likely to have a mental health disorder. There are organisations who specialise in helping young people get through mental health issues – these web links can help you too.
If you need to speak to someone straight away, please contact:
Lifeline - 13 11 14
Kids Helpline - 1800 55 18 00
headspace - 1800 650 890