Date of Original Version
To describe internet use for health information among adolescents with uncontrolled persistent asthma, and to examine whether health-related internet use is associated with responsibility for home asthma management.
We analyzed baseline data from the School-Based Asthma Care for Teens (SB-ACT) Trial, which included adolescents (12–16 years) in an urban school district who had uncontrolled persistent asthma per caregiver report. We asked adolescents whether they had ever used the Internet to look for health or medical information (Y/N). Teens then described family responsibility for 9 asthma management tasks (e.g. full caregiver responsibility, shared responsibility, or full teen responsibility). We examined responsibility sum scores in addition to responsibility for individual management tasks. We used bivariate and multivariate analyses to compare health-related internet use with participant characteristics, teen-reported asthma symptoms, and management responsibility.
We examined data for 425 adolescents (mean age 13.4 years). Almost half (45%) reported seeking health information on the Internet. In adjusted analyses, health-related internet use was strongly associated with teen responsibility (sum score and tasks relating to carrying and using medications); internet use was also more likely among teens who were older, female, or reported uncontrolled disease.
Adolescents with persistent asthma who share responsibility for home management or report uncontrolled disease are more likely to seek health information online. Future interventions to support teens who co-manage asthma should work to engage patients in both clinical and digital spaces, and ensure that all patients can access accurate, patient-centered asthma information when needed.
Sean M. Frey, Maria Fagnano, Jennifer R. Mammen & Jill S. Halterman (2020) Health-Related Internet Use among Adolescents with Uncontrolled Persistent Asthma, Journal of Asthma, DOI: 10.1080/02770903.2020.1827420