Predicting children's quality of life in an asthma clinical trial: what do children's reports tell us?

J Pediatr. 2001 Dec;139(6):854-61. doi: 10.1067/mpd.2001.119444.


Objective: To define predictors of disease-specific quality of life (QOL) and the relationship between asthma symptoms and disease-specific QOL.

Study design: Three hundred thirty-nine children participated at 4 of 8 Childhood Asthma Management Program clinical centers. Included in the analyses were 2 weeks of asthma symptom data, child-reported health status, and QOL scores from the Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire. Data were obtained 12 months after randomization into the Childhood Asthma Management Program.

Results: Children were rated at baseline as having "moderate" asthma (63%) and "mild" asthma (37%). QOL scores were correlated with the child-reported anxiety measures. Factor analysis of the QOL measure resulted in 2 factors. Stepwise multiple regression indicated that the strongest independent predictors of QOL were the child's anxiety level, age, sex, and a measure of the child's tendency to minimize or exaggerate symptoms.

Conclusions: Children had few asthma symptoms in the 2 weeks before their 12-month follow-up clinic visit and a generally positive QOL, suggesting that mild-to-moderate asthma does not significantly impair QOL. A child's QOL was predicted primarily by their level of anxiety.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anxiety Disorders / complications
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology
  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / psychology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychological Tests
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Wechsler Scales