Adolescents with asthma are more likely to ask questions during doctor visits after viewing a video on the importance of being involved during asthma visits and receiving a list of questions and checking off the ones they want to ask the doctor, according to a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Asthma patients ages 11 to 17 who watched the 11-minute video and used the one-page list of question prompts interacted with and received education from their doctors at a higher rate than the control group in the study, which was led by Betsy Sleath, Ph.D., at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.
Sleath is the chair of the Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and the George H. Cocolas Distinguished Professor at the School. She said the question list and video, both produced in partnership with teens who have asthma are an easy way for providers to increase youth involvement during asthma visits.
“Typically, children and adolescents are not actively involved during their medical visits — the communication mostly takes place between the physician and the parent,” Sleath said. “By encouraging kids to ask questions during visits, hopefully we can improve their medication knowledge and their ability to live and function with asthma.”
According to Sleath’s previous research, 78 percent of adolescents with asthma experience problems with their medications, but only 11 percent ask their doctors about those medications.
This study examined whether youth in the intervention group were more likely to ask one or more questions about medications, triggers and environmental control than youth in the control group.
Sleath found that youth who participated in the study were twice as likely to ask questions about asthma medications after viewing the video and receiving the question prompt list, and doctors were more likely to educate those youth about their medications.
“The intervention helped empower adolescents to be more involved during visits,” Sleath said. “It’s a cheap, easy step for providers to implement — children and their families can watch the videos on YouTube in the waiting room.”
More active participation from young patients can lead to more effective management of asthma medications and symptoms and a higher quality of life, Sleath said.
The study, conducted with both English- and Spanish-speaking youth, enrolled 359 participants and 40 providers at four suburban and rural pediatric clinics in North Carolina.
The study is part of a $1.9 million grant from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund comparative clinical effectiveness research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions.
Sleath’s team has continued tracking the adolescent patients to further investigate their clinical outcomes. The research group consists of:
- Betsy Sleath, Ph.D., UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Delesha M. Carpenter, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Scott A. Davis, Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
- Claire Hayes Watson, Ph.D., Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy
- Charles Lee, M.D., Polyglot Systems, Inc., Morrisville, NC.
- Ceila E. Loughlin, M.D., Department of Pediatric Pulmonology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Nacire Garcia, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Daniel S. Reuland, M.D., M.P.H., Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Gail Tudor, Ph.D., Department of Science and Mathematics, Husson University