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Logo of archdischArchives of Disease in ChildhoodVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Arch Dis Child. 2007 December; 92(12): 1077–1081.
Published online 2007 September 12. doi:  10.1136/adc.2006.110536
PMCID: PMC2066080

Young people's experiences of managing asthma and diabetes at school



To examine the experiences and concerns of young people and their parents regarding the management of medication for asthma or diabetes whilst at school.


Face‐to‐face semi‐structured interviews were conducted with 69 young people aged 8–15 years (43 with asthma and 26 with diabetes) and their parents (138 interviews in total) in their own homes. Respondents were recruited through randomly selected general practice surgeries in contrasting areas in South East England. Interviews were audio‐recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using established qualitative analytical procedures.


Young people with asthma and diabetes discussed difficulties regarding access to and use of their medicines at school which may jeopardise optimal condition management. School medicines policies could be a further hindrance. Young people endeavour to find ways to accommodate their medication and condition related needs whilst at school, in an attempt to limit the impact of their condition upon school activities such as sport, school trips and relationships with peers. Parents expressed concern regarding the awareness and levels of support available to their sons/daughters, in particular if a crisis should develop.


In order to ensure optimal care, there is a need for the development of protocols tailored to the needs of young people with different conditions. These should preferably be devised in partnership between the young person, their parents and the school to ensure that the flexibility and support required for optimal management are offered.

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