How do teens view the physical and social impact of asthma compared to other chronic diseases?

Elaine C Wirrell, Christina Cheung, Sheldon Spier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


We surveyed cognitively normal teens with and without chronic illness regarding the perceived physical and social impact of various chronic diseases including asthma. The overall physical impact of asthma was perceived equivalently to diabetes and arthritis, but less than epilepsy, Down's syndrome, leukemia, and human immunodeficiency virus infection. However, asthma was rated to more commonly cause physical disability ( p < 0.001) and restrict activities ( p < 0.0005). The social impact of asthma was perceived equivalently to diabetes, but more favorably than the other chronic diseases surveyed. Specifically, teens with asthma were perceived as having fewer behavior problems, being more honest, popular, and fun to be around, but less adept at sports. Only 6 of 149 (4%) teens surveyed expressed any degree of reluctance to befriend peers with asthma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-160
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Asthma
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes



  • Adolescent
  • Asthma
  • Chronic disease
  • Physical impact
  • Socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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