The adolescents with asthma are a distinct group of patients with different problems and needs compared to children and adults. Specific issues of asthma in adolescence are the variability of the clinical spectrum, the presence of particular risk factors for the persistence of symptoms, underdiagnosis and undertreatment of the disease. Refusal of the sick role, denial of symptoms, carelessness about dangerous inhalation exposure, erratic self-medication, overexertion without taking precautions against exercise-induced asthma, and a poor relationship between patients, their families, and often doctors are the main obstacles to successful management of asthma in this critical age. There are also major problems of compliance for these patients. The goal of optimal quality of life will be achieved only if the physician thoroughly understands the adolescent's needs and provides optimal care.
2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.