Simple Survey Identifies Uncontrolled Asthma in Kids

Breathmobile Case Identification Survey validated in more than 1,800 urban children

FRIDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A simple, seven-question bilingual survey can serve as a tool for identifying children with poorly controlled asthma, according to study findings published in the December issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The survey, called the Breathmobile Case Identification Survey, has previously been validated as a tool for identifying active asthma.

Rita Kachru, M.D., of the University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated the survey in 1,826 children from urban, low-socioeconomic backgrounds when they presented to a school-based asthma program for an initial or follow-up visit. Children's responses were compared with results of a comprehensive evaluation by an asthma specialist. Researchers then developed scoring algorithms for baseline and follow-up visits.

Surveys scored by the algorithms had high specificity and sensitivity for identifying children with uncontrolled asthma (73 percent and 77 percent at baseline, respectively) and detecting children with moderate-to-severe activity at baseline and follow-up.

"Its dual function as an effective screening and evaluation survey, with high sensitivity and specificity, makes this instrument an ideal intervention tool to help attenuate some of the physician and patient barriers preventing appropriate treatment in children with asthma," the researchers conclude.

Abstract
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