Background/Significance: The goal of asthma management is to achieve symptom control and decrease the occurrence of asthma exacerbations.1 As with most chronic diseases, asthma patients must monitor their symptoms, avoid triggers, see their providers regularly and adhere to their medication regimens.1 Failure to do so may result in asthma exacerbations, hospitalizations, permanent damage to the lungs or worse, death. As children age, the owness of care begins to shift from the caregiver to the adolescent. Adolescents with asthma are capable of monitoring their symptoms and taking daily medications to control their symptoms. However many adolescents resist or reject this. One explanation may be that some adolescents possess a limited future time perspective. FTP is defined as the motivation behind one’s actions based on the consideration of future goals, present events, or past events.4 A person who is future-oriented is driven by goals, focused on making plans, and invests a great deal of time into the future. Thus it would be appropriate to assume that adolescents who have a future oriented time perspective would be more likely to engage in healthy behaviors such as managing their chronic illnesses. They would do this because they are focused on the future and are motivated to control their illness. To say that future time perspective is the only factor that contributes to patients engaging in healthy behaviors would be limited however it it may be a major factor.
Method: A scoping review was utilized to review and synthesize the literature. The methodology for a scoping review is as follows: 1. Identify the research question, 2. Identify relevant studies, 3. Select appropriate studies, 4. Chart the data, 5. Summarize and report the results. 2 In stage one we identified the following research question. “What is the relationship between future time perspective and asthma self-management in urban adolescents?” Stage two encompassed the literature search using EBSCOHost, ScienceDirect, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Science Citation Index and GoogleScholar. Search terms included “Future time perspective,” “Asthma management in adolescents,” “health behaviors,” “adolescent time perspectives,” “chronic disease management,” and “FTP and asthma.” Boolean term “AND” was used to narrow the search to adolescents only. Stage 3 and 4 were completed simultaneously. After becoming familiar with the subject matter and reading the articles, inclusion and exclusion criteria was set. The articles were placed into a chart to display the data in a comprehensible form. The articles were evaluated based on methodology, aims/variables studied, interactions performed, sample size and age, and relevance of the findings.
Findings: Even with a wide variety of search terms and broad inclusion criteria, the search results were dismal. Research findings indicated that that FTP does play a role in the patient’s decision to engage in healthy behaviors. Researchers concluded that FTP is a predictor of healthy behaviors. In one study of adolescents aged 13-18, those who perceive better life opportunities in the future (future oriented time perspective) engaged in increased levels of physical activity and declined risky health behaviors like smoking.3 Three of the articles included in this scoping review analyzed the role of FTP in Diabetes Mellitus medication adherence. FTP had a direct effect on adherence to diabetic medication and plays an role in motivating a patient.
Conclusions: There is a dearth of existing knowledge about FTP in adolescent populations and asthma self-management. The few studies that focus on asthma self-management and FTP is with adults. A knowledge gap exists in the research regarding FTP and adolescent asthma self-management thus supporting the need for future research.