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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001 May;107(5 Suppl):S473-81.

Assessment of health status and quality of life outcomes for children with asthma.

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Pediatric Pulmonary Center, University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, Albuquerque, NM 87131-5311, USA.


Increasing interest has been directed to understanding health outcomes associated with pediatric disease processes, including asthma. Salient areas of interest to health outcomes research include the child's and parent's subjective experience with the disease, a concept most often identified as quality of life. Quality of life reports fit within a broader scope of outcome measures embodied in the concept of children's health status. This article provides a description for how a child's health status can be understood theoretically, from a research perspective and in clinical practice. Emphasis is directed to how information obtained from both the child and parent is critical to outcomes research and clinical practice. Unique methodologic problems in assessing child health outcomes such as the challenge of understanding how the child's changing cognitive development may have an impact on responses to outcome measures and the role of contextual variables such as family characteristics are discussed. A variety of subjective and objective outcome measures currently exist that may be used in research on children with asthma. Practical guidelines for implementing outcomes research for children with asthma are presented. Clinical researchers must use multiple outcome measures for assessing asthma characteristics, including psychosocial characteristics, which have an impact on adherence and treatment regimens.

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