Background: A validated questionnaire is needed to monitor respiratory control in preschool-aged children.
Objective: We sought to develop and validate a caregiver-completed questionnaire that measures respiratory control in young children.
Methods: A 33-item questionnaire that included asthma impairment and risk items was administered to 486 caregivers of children aged younger than 5 years with a current, recent, or past history of respiratory symptoms. Stepwise regression was used to select a subset of items with the greatest discriminant validity in relation to guidelines-defined asthma control in a random two-thirds development sample. Reliability, validity, and ability to screen for respiratory control problems were tested in development and validation samples (remaining one-third sample).
Results: The content of the 5 items selected, the Test for Respiratory and Asthma Control in Kids (TRACK), included frequency of respiratory symptoms (wheeze, cough, shortness of breath), activity limitation, and nighttime awakenings in the past 4 weeks; rescue medication use in the past 3 months; and oral corticosteroid use in the previous year. Reliability was greater than 0.70 in both samples. ANOVA showed that mean scores differed significantly (P < .001) in the expected direction across both samples for 3 levels of guidelines-based respiratory control, physician-recommended change in therapy, and symptom status. In the development and validation samples, screening analyses revealed areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.88 and 0.82, respectively; control status was correctly classified in 81% and 78% of cases.
Conclusion: TRACK is a valid, easy-to-administer, caregiver-completed questionnaire of respiratory control in preschool-aged children with symptoms consistent with asthma.