Jeminiwa RN, Banjara B, Rahman MM, Garza KB, Chou CE, Franco-Watkins A, Fox B. What does it mean to live with asthma as a young adult? Poster presented at the 121st Virtual Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy; July 13, 2020. [abstract] Am J Pharm Educ. 2020 Jun; 84(6):ajpe8221. doi: 10.5688/ajpe8221

OBJECTIVE: Young adults have unique challenges in asthma management because of their developmental phase. Health programs directed at this population must consider the challenges faced by this demographic. Yet, little is known about the experience of living with asthma as a young adult. Our objective was to uncover what it means to live with asthma as a young adult using a systematic literature review and qualitative meta-synthesis.

METHODS: PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were searched from database creation to March 2019 by two researchers independently. Additional articles were identified through a high sensitivity search of Google scholar. Qualitative and mixed methods studies describing the experience of living with asthma as a young adult (ages 18-29) were included. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analysis guideline was followed. The rigor of included studies was assessed using the MMAT Tool. Study findings were coded by two researchers independently. A grounded theory approach was used for data analysis and synthesis.

RESULTS: Seven high quality studies were identified with scores ranging from 75-100%. Five concepts related to “living with asthma as a young adult” emerged: 1) Needs (eg, information on weather), 2) Barriers (eg, decreased parental support), 3) Enablers (eg, knowledge of asthma management), 4 )Behaviors (positive eg, taking medication as prescribed; negative behaviors eg, stopping medications when better), and 5) Outcomes (disease, interpersonal, and personal outcomes). When needs are met, enablers are present, and barriers are removed, young adults are more likely to exhibit positive behaviors with desired outcomes.

CONCLUSIONS: Young adults have several needs, barriers, enablers, behaviors, and outcomes as a result of living with asthma. Our findings may be leveraged to develop programs targeting young adults.

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