Psychosocial and behavioral risk factors in asthma management

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4 Scopus citations


Social, psychological and behavioral factors can significantly influence asthma morbidity and patient's quality of life. Psychological barriers such as depression, anxiety, and inaccurate beliefs about asthma have been associated with increased asthma morbidity, poor adherence and increased health care utilization. Poor perception of asthma symptoms may also be a risk factor in asthma management. Social factors such as family dysfunction and low social support increase the difficulties in managing the care of a chronic illness such as asthma. Cultural factors may influence patient and family beliefs about asthma and asthma management practices. Asthma severity and risk are also powerfully mediated by patient behavior. Inappropriate asthma self-management, such as patient delays in seeking treatment or over- reliance on urgent care or non-adherence with therapy can lead to dangerous escalations in asthma risk. Other health-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse, can contribute to asthma morbidity and mortality by interfering with asthma self-management behaviors, directly exacerbating symptoms, or by masking symptoms leading to treatment delays. Just as the assessment of asthma severity is a fundamental component of developing an asthma treatment plan, so also should psychosocial resources and barriers be evaluated and integrated into an effective management plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998


  • Asthma
  • Asthma management
  • Psychosocial
  • Social

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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