How do you get teenagers with asthma to take control of their condition? The Centre for Public Engagement awarded the Asthma in Schools project a small grant in November 2016 to develop films to explore how teenagers can communciate with their GPs about their condition.
In our School-based Asthma Project (SAP), we conducted focus groups with teenagers with asthma to identify some of the barriers to adherence among teenagers and young people. Communication between healthcare professionals and young people with asthma was identified as a key unmet need among children; many children expressed concerns over talking to their GP and feeling like the consultations did not always address their needs. In response to this, we have developed a school-based self-management intervention, to improve asthma control and overall management of the condition. One of the workshops included in this intervention will cover doctor-patient communication. During this workshop, a video will be played to the children, in two parts, and the aim of the workshop is to use interactive role play and media to inform effective consultations. The video is presented as part A and part B. In part A, the character playing the patient reluctant to discuss their asthma with their GP, and unwilling to cooperate with the GP to improve their asthma. The part of the video brings attention to the importance of being open and honest with your GP, and highlights the problems with coming to an appointment unprepared and indifferent. In part B, the character playing the teenage patient is more engaged with the GP and willing to seek help. As previously mentioned, this video workshop will also include interactive role play, and the children will be taking on the role of the GP as they watch the video. The children will fill in a doctor’s note sheet while they are watching the video, including writing down which medication has been prescribed, and what the next steps are in terms of the asthma management.
This video has been tested in a wider feasibility study, and the preliminary findings indicate that the children were more aware of the importance of their GP consultations, and what they should be bringing to their appointments. This workshop will be further tested in a pilot study of the intervention, which will take place from September 2018 for two years.
The Asthma in Schools project was shortlisted for an Influence award at the 2018 Engagement and Enterprise Awards.