Supporting and empowering young people with asthma
Welcome to our new website and blog!
We are a group of researchers and communication experts working to positively transform the health of young people by developing a school-based initiative.
My Asthma in School – project aim
Our aim is to support and empower young people take control of their asthma and reduce the impact asthma has on their lives.
People with asthma can find it difficult to manage their condition, especially in an environment such as secondary schools where they can experience stigma about their health, or as they get older and take greater responsibility for themselves.
Our research trial aims to encourage young people to take control of their asthma, and challenge peer perceptions and misconceptions about asthma for a healthier school experience for young people with asthma. During the trial, we will use interactive workshops and theatre to engage and educate young people about asthma.
Why address healthcare in schools?
‘My Health in School’ is an initiative to support young people’s health via school-based initiatives. We first turn our focus to asthma in young people aged 11-13 for several reasons:
Asthma is the most common long-term health condition in children and young people, and is far more common in the UK than other comparable countries.
For most people, medication can manage symptoms and control the severity of asthma.
Statistics from the Department of Health show that about 70% of emergency admissions for asthma could have been prevented (data for adults and children).
People with asthma receive medical care, but day to day they take responsibility for taking medicine and managing symptoms if they arise. Secondary school is a transition time as children develop into young adults and take on greater responsibility for managing their lives, including health conditions, so it can help to receive some support.
Additionally, our own research on 689 children from London secondary schools with doctor-diagnosed asthma showed some alarming results:
About half (49.6%) of students did not control their asthma well.
Nearly half (42%) of students felt uncomfortable using their inhaler at school.
Of the 220 students prescribed a regular preventer inhaler, over half (56%) did not use it as advised and several (42%) did not know why they needed to use the preventer inhaler.
The perceptions of peers concern young people.
All of the above considered, we want to support young peoples’ knowledge and understanding of taking control of and managing their health. We want to challenge peer perceptions and misconceptions. And we want to support the healthcare system and the education system by providing support in schools.
Find out more about the team on the Who we are page, more about the background on What we do, to find out more and enroll your school in the research trial Get involved, or explore our Resources such as our Asthma Dodge app and a couple of films we developed.