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Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2008 Nov;19(7):626-33. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3038.2007.00705.x. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Actual asthma control in a paediatric outpatient clinic population: do patients perceive their actual level of control?

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1
Department of Paediatric Pulmonology, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands. sannehammer@hotmail.com

Abstract

Several epidemiological studies described poor asthma control in children. However, the diagnosis of childhood asthma in these studies is uncertain, and asthma control in children of an outpatient clinic population during treatment by a paediatrician is unknown. (1) to investigate the hypothesis that asthma control in a paediatric outpatient clinic population is better than epidemiological surveys suggest; (2) to find possible explanations for suboptimal asthma control. Asthmatic children aged 6-16 years, known for at least 6 months by a paediatrician at the outpatient clinic, were selected. During a normal visit, both the responsible physicians and parent/children completed a standardised questionnaire about asthma symptoms, limitation of daily activities, treatment, asthma attacks and emergency visits. Overall, excellent asthma control of 8.0% in this study was not significantly better than of 5.8% in the European AIR study (Chi-square, p = 0.24). Separate GINA goals like minimal chronic symptoms and no limitation of activities were better met in our study. Good to excellent controlled asthma was perceived by most children/parents (83%), but was less frequently indicated by the paediatrician (73%), or by objective criteria of control (45%) (chi-square, p = 0.0001). The agreement between patient-perceived and doctor assessed control was low, but improved in poorly controlled children. Patients were not able to perceive the difference between 'excellent asthma control' and 'good control' (p = 0.881).Too little children with uncontrolled disease got step-up of their asthma treatment. Although separate GINA goals like 'minimal chronic symptoms' and 'no limitation of activities' were significantly better in our study, overall, asthma control in this outpatient clinic population, treated by a paediatrician, was not significantly better than in the European AIR study. Poorly controlled disease was related to several aspects of asthma management, which are potentially accessible for improvements.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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