Allergic rhinitis (AR) remains a significant pediatric health problem because of the burden of uncontrolled symptoms on daily activities and on general well being.
Aim: to assess the impact of AR on health-related quality of life (HRQL) of children and adolescents using a generic instrument, the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ - PF50).
Methods: Between January and November 2004, parents or caregivers of 23 children and adolescents with AR without comorbidities and with positive prick tests for at least one air allergen were invited to participate of a cross-sectional study and asked to answer the self-administered CHQ-PF50. The scores were compared to those of healthy children and adolescents.
Results: Patient scores were lower (p<0.05) than healthy subsets in both the physical and psychosocial summaries and in most of the CHQ-PF50 scales (p<0,05), except for the 'change in health' scale. The size effect was higher in the physical score compared to the psychosocial summary score.
Conclusions: allergic rhinitis has a global negative impact on the HRQL of children and adolescents, with major repercussions in physical function; AR also negatively affects family relations.