"Ikke kall det sykdom!" – å være ung og ha astma
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The aim of this study was to describe how adolescents experience having asthma. Data was recorded from 39 adolescents, 18 girls and 21 boys, interviewed by using Focus Groups. Mean age was 14 year (12 to 16 years). They were observed and interviewed within 7 groups. Most (80 %) had had asthma for more than 10 years. All but two, used inhaled steroids. Only 33 % had experienced respiratory symptoms more than once a week during the last 14 days. The adolescents did not experience themselves as having a disease, and to discuss having asthma with other youths were unusual for most. Some felt that they had to deal with a demanding environment without the aid of a supportive network. They expressed mistrust by teachers and friends related to physical training and school activities as most traumatically. Adolescents are at high risk for poor outcomes from asthma owing to lifestyle and developmental changes. The result of the study suggest a need to better inform the people in the adolescent´s surrondings (i.e. school teachers and friends) about asthma. Teachers and parents have an important task: to find physically challenging activities as well as leisure activities that strengthen the adolescent´s selfesteem and ability to cope with their asthma. The focus group´s methods allowed the adolescents to experience a supportive social enviroment and created openness conserning their health problems. There is a need for further studies about the adolescents, chronic disease and quality of life.