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Adolescents with asthma tend to have lower rates of medication adherence than younger children with asthma. Many factors contribute to low adherence and adverse outcomes in this cohort of patients. However, these factors are not entirely understood.  

This study, published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology, studied the medication use of eighth-graders who take controller medications for asthma. Additional factors such as family cohesion and medication beliefs were examined. The reported study demographics were 40% non-Latino white, 23.7% Black, 37.3% Latino, and 37.3% female. 

Overall, the researchers found a decline in asthma medication use between eighth and tenth grade. Treatment adherence decreased significantly from 48% in the eighth grade to 34.1% in the tenth grade. Latino and male youths had significantly lower adherence rates. Family cohesion was associated with a significantly higher adherence rate throughout the cohort. 

The researchers classified their findings into a three-class model of longitudinal adherence according to latent class models. The classes they describe are low, declining adherence; high, sustained adherence; and low, sustained adherence. Demographics are noted for each of these classes. The data support the use of family resource-based interventions that target the difficulties faced by adolescents during this vulnerable transition [1].


[1] McQuaid, E. L., Kopel, S. J., Seifer, R., Tackett, A., Farrow, M., Koinis-Mitchell, D., & Dunsiger, S. (2021). Patterns of Asthma Medication Use across the Transition to High School. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1093/jpepsy/jsab001


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