STS recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheeze, that


REFERENCE ID: 2018-05625 

TITLE: Knowledge and awareness about bronchial asthma among adolescents in Tamil Nadu.


Asthma is a common, chronic inflammatory disease of the lower respiratory tract which is characterised by the recurrent attacks of breathlessness and wheeze, that may be aggravated upon exertion and has diurnal variation. 14 Asthma tends to affect people of all age groups thereby hindering their day-to-day lives and that of their families. 1

Globally, the prevalence of asthma is estimated to range from 3% to 38% in children and from 2% to 12% in adults hence making it the one of the commonest disorders among children. 1,2 According to a study conducted by the Indian Study on Epidemiology of Asthma, Respiratory Symptoms and Chronic Bronchitis (INSEARCH) with 85,105 men and 84,470 women from 12 urban and 11 rural locations in India in the year 2012, the overall prevalence of asthma was 2.05% (adults aged ?15 years). 3

Pediatric asthma differs from that of adults by having multiple phenotypes and a variable natural course of disease. 12 Even though asthma can potentially occur at any age, the prevalence of pediatric asthma is far greater. It is usually diagnosed by 5 years of age and up to 50% of the cases are symptomatic by 2 years of age. In the United States, it is estimated that about 15 million of asthma patients are under the age of 18 years. 13

Though some cases of pediatric asthma, seem to recover, 30–80% of cases tend to relapse in adulthood, that is, not all cases of pediatric asthma are out growable. 4 Some cases of pediatric asthma are likely to recur, especially in early adulthood, i.e., during the phase adolescence. 15,16 Studies conducted on unbiased populations, indicate that almost one third of asthmatics despite being symptomatic, are often underdiagnosed and are hence forced to lead a life of compromised quality. 5,6,7,8,9,10

Adolescence is the transitional phase from childhood to adulthood. Therefore, adolescent asthma happens to be a distinguished category with varied treatment requirements when compared to both children and adults. Hence better knowledge and awareness about asthma among adolescents may help to improve the chances of early diagnosis. 11

However, trends in knowledge of asthma amongst adolescents is still rarely studied, in comparison with other age groups. Therefore, I establish the need for this study with the goal to fill this lacunae by assessing the knowledge and awareness of asthma amongst adolescents.




Current study is to be conducted to assess the level of knowledge, awareness and source of information of asthma among intermediate and late adolescents who are studying in government and private schools in rural, urban and semi-urban areas of Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu.


Study design and setting:

·         A prospective, cross sectional study to be conducted among adolescents in Chennai, Thiruvallur and Kanchipuram districts of Tamil Nadu.

·         The study is to be conducted among adolescents studying in various schools, from both government and private sectors situated in rural, urban and semi-urban areas in order to minimise sample bias.

·         Sampling is to be done using convenience sampling method.

·         A content and face validated questionnaire is to be used to collect the data from the participants.

Study method: Questionnaire based study.

Duration of study: 2 months

Plan of analysis /statistical tools:

The collected data would be reviewed and statistically analysed by using SPSS. Mann Whitney and Kruskal-Wallis tests will be applied to relate the study variables.

Sample size: 1000

Inclusion criteria:

·         Middle adolescents (Ages 13-16 years)

·         Late adolescents (Ages 17-19 years)

Exclusion criteria:

·         Early adolescents- since they may/may not be able to understand and answer the questions put forth effectively (Ages 10-12years)

·         Medical/ Paramedical students- to avoid sample bias

·         Currently known cases of asthma


Data collection procedure:

A self?administered questionnaire will be used as a tool to collect the data from the subjects. 
The questionnaire containing relevant questions to the topic of study will be distributed to subjects.
The questionnaire would include demographic details such as 1) Name 2) Age 3) Sex 4) Education.
The subjects will be asked to tick only one of the options in the column for each question. After prior briefing about the study, sufficient time will be given to complete the questionnaire.

Quality control and confidentiality:

The confidentiality will be duly maintained. The names of the subjects will not be revealed, and the records of this study will be kept private under all circumstances. The results thus obtained will be used for research purposes only. The questions in the questionnaire can be answered without any external influence.

Ethical consideration:

Study will be conducted after obtaining prior approval from Institutional Ethical Committee. Prior consent will be obtained from all the selected subjects before the study is carried out. No subject will be forced to participate in the study. An informed consent form will be handed to every participant and confidentiality will be maintained. The results will be used for research purposes only.


·         This study highlights the overall knowledge, awareness and understanding of adolescents about asthma and its symptoms. Thereby enabling them to identify the occurrence of the disease, if so and seek appropriate treatment measures at the earliest.

·         Administration of such necessary treatment at an early stage, can control the progression of the disease and greatly improve the disease prognosis.


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