Title

Indicators of poorly controlled asthma and health-related quality of life among school-age children in the United States

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-1-2017

Abstract

Background: Poorly controlled asthma has far-reaching effects on school-age children and their parents, but little is known about the national impact on health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Objective: To examine HRQoL associated with asthma and indicators of poorly controlled asthma in the United States. Methods: This was a cross-sectional analysis of HRQoL among school-age children (age range, 6-17 years) with asthma in the nationally representative 2007-2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). Indicators of poor asthma control included the following: exacerbation in the previous 12 months, use of more than three canisters of short-acting beta agonist in 3 months, and annual asthma-specific emergency department or inpatient visits. Health status and HRQoL instruments included the following: the Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS), Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ), Children with Special Health Care Needs Screener (CSHCN), and self-perceived physical and mental health. Ordered logistic regression was used for ordered categorical variables, and logistic regression was used for binary variables. All regressions controlled for sociodemographics and other covariates. Results: There were 44, 320 school-age children in the MEPS, of whom 5890 had asthma. School-age children with indicators of poorly controlled asthma had higher odds of feeling unhappy and/or sad or nervous and/or afraid, and of having problems with sports and/or hobbies and schoolwork on the CIS. Results from the CHQ showed that parents of school-age children with asthma and indicators of poorly controlled asthma had higher odds of worrying about their child's health and future. Results from the CSHCN showed that school-age children with asthma and indicators of poorly controlled asthma were more likely to have special health care needs. School-age children with asthma and indicators of poorly controlled asthma had higher odds of having poor perceived physical health. Conclusion: This nationally representative study provided novel information on the burden of poorly controlled asthma on emotional problems, school-related and activity limitations, general health status, and worry among school-age children and their families as measured by validated instruments.

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