Objective: This review will provide the reader a current appraisal of attempts to measure quality of life (QoL) in pediatric asthma and guidelines toward making a discriminating selection from available QoL questionnaires.
Data sources: A MEDLINE literature search was performed using the index terms quality of life and asthma. Reference lists from articles identified through this search were also perused. References that did not include the term "quality of life" but clearly addressed this topic were included.
Results: Nine questionnaires employed in studies evaluating life quality associated with pediatric asthma were identified. Five of the questionnaires are parent-completed and four are child-completed. The instruments vary considerably in length and content areas, and most have been used in a single study.
Conclusion: The science of measuring QoL change associated with pediatric asthma is in its infancy and the decision to use any single QoL instrument should be made cautiously. Investigators seeking to employ a QoL questionnaire in pediatric asthma clinical trials must consider several problems specific to evaluation with children, including age effects, reading ability, impact of adult assistance upon responses, and the inclusion of mother- versus father-completed questionnaires. The selected QoL questionnaire should address specific hypotheses and be piloted by the investigator before inclusion in a planned investigation.