The clinical benefit of evaluating health-related quality-of-life in children with problematic severe asthma

Acta Paediatr. 2011 Nov;100(11):1454-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02359.x. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


Aim: To evaluate health-related quality-of-life (HR-QoL) and the asthma control test (ACT) in children with problematic severe asthma and those with controlled asthma and to identify whether clinical characteristics show correlations with these measurements.

Methods: This multicentre cross-sectional study included 93 children in total, 54 with problematic severe asthma and 39 age-matched with controlled asthma. Subjects completed the Paediatric Asthma Quality-of-Life Questionnaire as well as a standardized health questionnaire and the ACT. Objective measurements of exhaled nitric oxide, specific sensitization, pulmonary function and bronchial hyper-responsiveness to methacholine were also taken.

Results: HR-QoL was reduced in children with problematic severe asthma (5.4 vs. 6.7, p < 0.001), particularly for girls (5.1 vs. 5.6 for boys, p = 0.02), and their ACT scores were also lower (17 vs. 23, p < 0.001) compared with those of subjects with controlled asthma. A HR-QoL score <6.2 discriminated problematic severe asthma from controlled asthma with 85% sensitivity and 97% specificity, as did the ACT score <20 (79% sensitivity and 94% specificity). Objective measures and other clinical characteristics were weakly associated with HR-QoL or ACT score.

Conclusion: Subjective measurements of HR-QoL and asthma control are both equally useful in differentiating children with problematic severe asthma from those with controlled asthma.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / physiopathology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Observation
  • Quality of Life*
  • Respiratory Function Tests*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden