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Value Health. 2008 Mar-Apr;11(2):231-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4733.2007.00229.x.

Assessing productivity loss and activity impairment in severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.

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1
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA, and Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA. hubert.chen@ucsf.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Asthma can be associated with substantial productivity loss and activity impairment, particularly among those with the most severe disease. We sought to assess the performance characteristics of an asthma-specific adaptation of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAI:Asthma) in patients with either severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.

METHODS:

We analyzed 2529 subjects from The Epidemiology and Natural History of Asthma: Outcomes and Treatment Regimens (TENOR) study. The WPAI:Asthma was administered at baseline and at 12 months. Asthma control and quality-of-life were simultaneously assessed using the Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire and Mini-Asthma Quality-of-Life Questionnaire, respectively.

RESULTS:

Severe versus mild-to-moderate asthma was associated with a greater percentage of impairment at work (28% vs. 14%), at school (32% vs. 18%), and in daily activities (41% vs. 21%). At baseline, greater asthma control problems correlated with higher levels of impairment as measured by the WPAI (work: r = 0.54, school: r = 0.37, activity: r = 0.55). Over the 12-month follow-up period, improved quality-of-life correlated with decreased levels of impairment (work: r = -0.42, school: r = -0.36, activity: r = -0.48). In multivariate analyses, greater than 10% overall work impairment at baseline predicted emergency visits (OR 2.6 [1.6, 4.0]) and hospitalization (OR 4.9 [1.8, 13.1]) at 12 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

The WPAI:Asthma correlates with other self-reported asthma outcomes in the expected manner and predicts health-care utilization at 12 months when administered to patients with severe or difficult-to-treat asthma.

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