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NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2017 Dec 8;27(1):64. doi: 10.1038/s41533-017-0064-4.

Weekly self-measurement of FEV1 and PEF and its impact on ACQ (asthma control questionnaire)-scores: 12-week observational study with 76 patients.

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Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Medicine, Institute of General Practice, Munich, Germany.
Technical University of Munich, TUM School of Medicine, Institute of General Practice, Munich, Germany.


The "Asthma Control Questionnaire" (ACQ) is a very common questionnaire for assessing asthma control. This study compares different ACQ versions in a self-monitoring program over a 12-week period combining them with patients' self-measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1). The objective was to test the feasibility of FEV1-self-measurements and to compare ACQ versions regarding possible additional information given by lung function. In this prospective multicenter observational study 100 adult asthma patients, recruited at six family practices and two pulmologists' private practices in Germany, completed the ACQ weekly, performing self-measurements of PEF and FEV1. Seventy-six patients were included into final analysis with only 3% missing values. Scores for all ACQ versions improved significantly (all P-values < 0.05) with reductions of 32% for ACQ5, 31% for ACQ6, 22% for ACQ7-FEV1, and 21% for ACQ7-PEF with high Pearson's correlation coefficients of all scores (r between 0.96 and 0.99). ACQ7-FEV1 scores were significantly higher than others. Separated courses of lung function parameters showed nearly no change, but ACQ5 and ACQ6 as scores for symptoms and reliever medication improved constantly. ACQ5 and ACQ6 revealed higher percentages of patients classified as "controlled" than ACQ7-scores. In conclusion, with only a few missing data points, our results suggest feasibility of FEV1-self-measurements. Courses of symptom-related and lung function-related ACQ items differ clearly. Our results support the GINA recommendations to consider symptoms and lung function separately. FEV1-self-measurements for research purposes may be included with the ACQ, but in clinical practice seem to measure a different domain to symptomatic asthma control.

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