Perception of asthma as a factor in career choice among young adults with asthma
S Bhinder, L Cicutto, HM Abdel-Qadir, SM Tarlo
BACKGROUND/AIM: Asthma is a common chronic condition that can
be aggravated by workplace exposures. Young adults with asthma should
know how their future occupation might affect their asthma, and potentially,
their quality of life. The aim of the present study was to assess the awareness
of young adults to occupational risks for asthma and high-risk occupations, as
well as their perception of the role of asthma in career choice.
METHODS: Young adults 16 to 22 years of age with reported physiciandiagnosed
asthma were recruited to complete a questionnaire eliciting
information regarding asthma control, career choice and awareness of
occupational exposure risks.
RESULTS: A small majority of the study cohort (56.4%) could identify
occupations that cause or exacerbate asthma, and 34.7% indicated that
asthma was an important factor in their career plans. Family physicians were
most responsible for asthma management (80.2%), but young adults were
more likely to discuss asthma and career plans with their parents (43.6%) or
friends (29.7%) than with their family physician (13.9%; P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Young adults with asthma have suboptimal awareness of
potential work-related asthma risks. Family physicians most commonly
provide asthma care to these young adults. However, few young adults are
talking to their family physicians about career choices and asthma. This
observation represents an area of asthma care that needs to be explored in
young adults with asthma.