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J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Mar;129(3 Suppl):S88-123. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2011.12.988.

Asthma outcomes: quality of life.

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Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA, USA.



"Asthma-related quality of life" (QOL) refers to the perceived impact that asthma has on the patient's QOL.


National Institutes of Health institutes and other federal agencies convened an expert group to recommend standardized measures of the impact of asthma on QOL for use in future asthma clinical research.


We reviewed published documentation regarding the development and psychometric evaluation; clinical research use since 2000; and extent to which the content of each existing QOL instrument provides a unique, reliable, and valid assessment of the intended construct. We classified instruments as core (required in future studies), supplemental (used according to the study's aims and standardized), or emerging (requiring validation and standardization). This work was discussed at an National Institutes of Health-organized workshop convened in March 2010 and finalized in September 2011.


Eleven instruments for adults and 6 for children were identified for review. None qualified as core instruments because they predominantly measured indicators of asthma control (symptoms and/or functional status); failed to provide a distinct, reliable score measuring all key dimensions of the intended construct; and/or lacked adequate psychometric data.


In the absence of existing instruments that meet the stated criteria, currently available instruments are classified as either supplemental or emerging. Research is strongly recommended to develop and evaluate instruments that provide a distinct, reliable measure of the patient's perception of the impact of asthma on all of the key dimensions of QOL, an important outcome that is not captured in other outcome measures.

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