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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2012 Apr;47(4):346-57. doi: 10.1002/ppul.21557. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Global impact of asthma on children and adolescents' daily lives: the room to breathe survey.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, HFR, Fribourg, Switzerland. hanneswild@bluewin.ch

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To establish children and adolescents' perspectives regarding their asthma and its impact upon their daily lives.

DESIGN:

A 14-item questionnaire.

SETTING:

Canada, Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.

PARTICIPANTS:

Children/adolescents (aged 8-15 years) with physician-diagnosed asthma.

INTERVENTION:

Interviews were conducted by telephone (Canada, Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom) or face-to-face (South Africa).

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Asthma symptoms, impact on activities, and quality of life.

RESULTS:

Of the 943 children/adolescents interviewed, 60% were male. Most (81%) described their asthma as "not too bad" or "I only get it every now and then," with only 4% reporting their asthma as being "very bad"; however, 92% experienced asthma-related coughing and 59% reported nocturnal awakening. Over half (57%) of children/adolescents believed they could predict when their asthma would make them ill; the most common initial symptoms being breathlessness (41%) and bad cough (33%). They considered the worst things about having asthma to be the symptoms of an asthma attack (32%) and not being able to play sport (25%). Almost half (47%) of children/adolescents felt that their asthma affected their ability to play sport or engage in physical activity. One in ten reported they had suffered asthma-related bullying.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children/adolescents underestimate the severity of their asthma, and overestimate its control, indicating that they expect their illness to be symptomatic. Asthma has a substantial impact on their daily lives, particularly on physical activity and social functioning. Efforts are required to improve asthma control and expectations of health in children/adolescents.

PMID:
22028276
DOI:
10.1002/ppul.21557
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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