In the UK most children with asthma do not attend hospital clinics and continuity of care is provided by their general practitioner. However, those with severe asthma, most of whom will not grow out of their symptoms, need hospital-based care as well. As they progress through adolescence teenagers become increasingly uncomfortable in paediatric wards and outpatient clinics. They need clinics where they can meet the chest physician who will take on their care before they transfer to a clinic for adults (table 5). Adolescent asthmatic patients are a distinct group of patients with different treatment requirements from either paediatric or adult patients. It is important that physicians recognise adolescent needs and the importance of regular health checks, smoking, peer pressure, and the negotiation of treatment plans in this group of patients.
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