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Transl Behav Med. 2016 Dec;6(4):509-518.

Exploring the theoretical pathways through which asthma app features can promote adolescent self-management.

Author information

Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1 University Heights, CPO 2125, Asheville, NC, 28804, USA.
Division of Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, 2214 Kerr Hall, CB# 7573, Chapel Hill, NC, 27759, USA.


Asthma apps often lack strong theoretical underpinnings. We describe how specific features of asthma apps influenced adolescents' self-observation, self-judgment, and self-reactions, which are key constructs of Self-Regulation Theory (SRT). Adolescents (ages 12-16) with persistent asthma (n = 20) used two asthma self-management apps over a 1-week period. During semi-structured interviews, participants identified their asthma goals and the app features that best promoted self-observation, self-judgment, and fostered positive self-reactions. Interviews were digitally recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed thematically using MAXQDA. Adolescents' goals were to reduce the impact of asthma on their lives. Adolescents reported that self-check quizzes, reminders, and charting features increased their ability to self-observe and self-judge their asthma, which, in turn, helped them feel more confident they could manage their asthma independently and keep their asthma well-controlled. Asthma apps can positively influence adolescents' self-management behaviors via increased self-observation, self-judgment, and increased self-efficacy.


Adolescent; App; Asthma; Self-Regulation Theory; Self-management; mHealth

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with Ethical Standards Funding This project was supported by the American Lung Association. Dr. Carpenter’s salary was partially supported by the National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), through Grant KL2TR000084. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NCATS or NIH. Conflict of Interest The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. Human and animal rights and informed consent All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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