The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2012 OPEN FORUM Abstracts


Margaret Sullivan2, Georgianna Sergakis1, Sarah M. Varekojis1, Jill Clutter1; 1The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; 2Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, OH

BACKGROUND: College students are a unique population with specific needs in regards to asthma self-management. During this transition period, adolescents face many challenges that can interfere with their ability to manage their asthma effectively. The purpose of this study was to describe Millennial college students’ level of asthma control and their attitudes and perceptions of how well their asthma is managed. METHODS: The study utilized mixed methods of data collection. A survey research methodology was utilized to describe students’ perceived level of asthma control and their actual level of control. An email invitation with a link to the electronic survey was sent to all first year students. Students were asked to complete the survey if they were able to self-report a diagnosis of asthma. In addition, those that completed the survey were asked to indicate interest in participating in a focus group designed to describe resources utilized for disease management and additional resources or adaptations necessary to better meet students’ needs. RESULTS: 106 students completed the survey. The age range was 18 – 20 years, and 92% lived in on-campus University housing. 63% had well-controlled asthma and 69% of those perceived that their asthma was well-controlled. However, 46% of those that perceived their asthma as well-controlled actually had poorly controlled asthma. This compliments the first focus group finding. Many of the 10 focus group participants revealed that while they perceived their asthma as well-controlled, through the discussion they discovered that they do not have an accurate understanding of asthma control. In addition, access to care and pharmacies covered by insurance was identified as a barrier, as was dealing with environmental changes due to climate, allergen and irritant exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Many college students have well-controlled asthma. However, there are opportunities to better inform students of resources available to them on and around campus for routine and emergency asthma care, and current students have a definite preference for interactive, convenient and accessible information. Sponsored Research - None