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Eur Respir J. 2001 Feb;17(2):254-8.

Parents' quality of life and respiratory symptoms in young children with mild wheeze. EASE Study Group.

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Dept of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Aberdeen, Foresterhill, Scotland, UK.


The Paediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire (PACQLQ), measures the impact of child asthma symptoms on family activity (CGAct) and parental anxiety (CGEmot). It has not been validated for families of children <7 yrs, with wheezing illness. This study assessed the sensitivity of the PACQLQ to symptom change in 62 preschool children with wheezing illness. The median age of children was 3 yrs (range 0.8-6 yrs). At entry and 3-month follow-up, parents recorded child respiratory symptoms in a 1-month diary and completed the PACQLQ. On average, children in the study had 7 symptomatic days per month. On entry, mothers < or = 30 yrs had worse scores than those > 30 (p < 0.02), and mothers in less affluent socioeconomic groups had worse scores than those in higher groups (p = 0.05). Change in symptom scores and symptom free days between entry and follow-up was associated with change in PACQLQ scores (r = 0.54-0.57, p <0.001). Thirty-three parents had absolute change in PACQLQ of <0.5 over three months (which has been previously defined as not being clinically significant). Compared to parents with higher PACQLQ change, parents with PACQLQ scores <0.5, did not differ in frequency of child symptoms or in social-demographic factors, but had better quality of life scores on entry to the study (p<0.01). It is concluded that the Paediatric Asthma Caregiver's Quality of Life Questionnaire is sensitive to group measures of child symptom change over 3 months, among preschool children, and this supports its use as an outcome measure in clinical trials. The absolute impact of child symptoms on parent quality of life varies among parents.

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