Objective: To assess the impact of improving long-term control medications on quality of life in children with persistent asthma symptoms attended in a paediatric emergency department (PED).
Study design/methods: Prospective study carried out in a Spanish PED from May to December 2010 including children 1-14 years of age with persistent asthma symptoms. At discharge, their long-term control medications was either initiated or improved on the basis of the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. Three follow-up telephone interviews at 2 and 6 weeks and at 6 months after the PED visit were completed. Parents were asked about the presence of asthma symptoms and quality of life of the child, respectively, using a six-item paediatric asthma control tool and an eight-item asthma-related quality-of-life instrument.
Results: The study was completed in 124 patients. Asthma LCTM was initiated in 74 (59.7%), improved in the same step in 36 (29%) and stepped up in 14 (11.3%). Ninety-one (73.4%), 107 (86.3%) and 117 patients (94.4%) were free of persistent asthma symptoms at 2 and 6 weeks and 6 months at follow-up, respectively. Seventy-five (60.5%) and 93 patients (75%) experienced an improvement in their quality of life between 2 and 6 weeks and 6 months after the PED visit, respectively. The mean eight-item asthma-related quality-of-life scores at 6 weeks and 6 months were significantly higher than those registered at 2 weeks at follow-up (91.9 ± 11 and 93 ± 10 vs. 86.1 ± 14.3; P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Children attended for acute asthma in PED where LCTM were initiated or stepped up showed a decrease in asthma persistent symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life.