Self-management of asthma by adult patients

Patient Educ Couns. 1997 Dec;32(1 Suppl):S5-20. doi: 10.1016/s0738-3991(97)00092-x.


Review of eighteen adult self-management education program evaluations comprising clinical trials showed significant achievement in five categories of outcome: (1) asthma knowledge; (2) patient perceptions and psychological status; (3) behavior related to medicine use, delivery devices and environmental triggers; (4) functioning and control of symptoms; and (5) health care use. Not every program achieved in all of these categories, probably because interventions of adequate power to elicit change in one category of outcome were not powerful enough to realize change in another category. An alternative explanation may be that in some studies assessment measures were inadequate. Asthma management by patients is influenced by their social environment and this aspect of control is least well understood. A small qualitative study suggested themes among adult patients that describe intra- and interpersonal factors enabling or hindering self-management including: the ability to acquire information; self-regulation; relations with family, friends and coworkers; and, relationships with clinicians. Research is needed that provides greater understanding of social environments in asthma management, produces standardized measurement tools, and tests more robust and theory-based interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / nursing
  • Asthma / prevention & control*
  • Asthma / psychology
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Self Care / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome