Background: There is an urgent need to bridge the large gap between optimal and observed asthma control among Canadian children.
Objectives: To adapt the criteria of asthma control proposed in the 1999 Asthma Consensus Statement for children and validate the proposed cut-offs in children with asthma.
Methods: Six clinical criteria of asthma control were phrased as questions and response options, and pretested for clarity. A cross-sectional study was conducted in children one to 17 years of age presenting to the hospital's asthma clinics. Children nine years of age or older and their parents were asked to complete The Asthma Quiz for Kidz separately, and then together, before the medical visit. Parents of younger children completed the questionnaire with their child. Physicians were not informed of the results of the quiz.
Results: The mean age of the 343 participants was 8.0+/-4.4 (SD) years with a mean baseline forced expiratory volume in 1 s of 96+/-15% of predicted values. Asthma severity was rated as mild (67%), moderate (29%) or severe (4%). Overall, 57% of subjects endorsed at least two of the six criteria of poor control. The median (interquartile range) Asthma Quiz score was significantly higher when the physician's assessment of asthma control was poor than when the physician's assessment of asthma control was good (3 [1, 5] versus 1 [0, 2], P<0.001), but it did not correlate with the spirometry. A score of at least 2 out of 6 had 73% sensitivity and 59% specificity for identifying poor control.
Interpretation: The Asthma Quiz score provides complementary information to, but does not replace, lung function testing. A score of 2 or more out of 6 suggests poor asthma control and should prompt patients to consult their physician for reassessment.