Measuring asthma control. Clinic questionnaire or daily diary?

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2000 Oct;162(4 Pt 1):1330-4. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm.162.4.9912138.


Daily symptom, peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), and medication diaries are often used in clinical trials of treatments for asthma on the assumption that they provide a better estimate of clinical status than does a questionnaire completed in the clinic. We conducted a study with the aim of comparing the measurement properties of the clinic-completed Asthma Control Questionnaire with those of the Asthma Control Diary. The diary is composed of questions and response options almost identical to those of the questionnaire, but uses PEFR instead of FEV(1) as the measure of airway caliber. In an observational study, 50 adults with symptomatic asthma attended a McMaster University asthma clinic at 0, 1, 5, and 9 wk to complete the Asthma Control Questionnaire and other measures of asthma status. For 1 wk before each follow-up visit, patients completed the Asthma Control Diary every morning and evening. Concordance between the questionnaire and diary was high (intraclass correlation coefficient [ICC] = 0.87). Both reliability (ICC: questionnaire = 0.90; diary = 0.86) and responsiveness (responsiveness index: questionnaire = 1.06; diary = 0.90; p = 0.005) were better with the questionnaire than with the diary. Correlations between the two instruments and other measures of clinical asthma status were similar and close to a priori predictions. Both the Asthma Control Questionnaire and the Asthma Control Diary are valid instruments for measuring asthma control, but the questionnaire has slightly better discriminative and evaluative measurement properties than does the diary.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Asthma / diagnosis
  • Asthma / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical Records*
  • Middle Aged
  • Peak Expiratory Flow Rate
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Asthmatic Agents