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Accuracy of an asthma questionnaire designed for teens with asthma

Published online: October 11, 2018

National asthma guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) encourage the use of validated questionnaires by clinicians. However, the representation of adolescents in previously published studies is frequently low and none of these studies have focused exclusively on adolescents. In addition, those studies frequently underrepresent individuals of urban, racial/ethnic minority backgrounds and/or individuals of low socioeconomic status, who are less likely to receive the preventive asthma care recommended by NIH guidelines. These underrepresented adolescents experience higher rates of acute health care use for asthma and are under-represented in research. And while there are a number of pediatric questionnaires, these rely primarily on parental report. It may be more accurate and developmentally appropriate for adolescents to self-report. Furthermore, many pediatric asthma surveys share similar limitations as outlined above regarding the adult asthma questionnaires.

The Asthma Control and Communication Instrument (ACCI) is a questionnaire previously validated by Okelo et al. for use among adult, urban and diverse patients with asthma. The ACCI was designed to easily but comprehensively assist health care providers evaluate the asthma health of their adult patients during office visits. However, the ACCI has not been tested for use by adolescent patients. In a recent study published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, between November 13, 2014 – March 2, 2017, the ACCI was administered with other asthma, quality of life and lung function tests among a group of adolescents in a school-based asthma study. The purpose of the study was to assess the ability of the ACCI to accurately describe asthma control among a diverse urban adolescent population.

Two hundred eighty adolescents (average age 13.4 years; 56% male; 51% African American) were studied. The ACCI not only correlated strongly with the other asthma, quality of life and lung function tests, it accurately grouped adolescents of different levels of asthma control.

The ACCI is a questionnaire that accurately assesses asthma control among urban, African American and Hispanic adolescents. The ACCI can be used by a variety of health care providers to easily and accurately measure asthma control in adolescent patients. It is already ready for use among diverse adult populations.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice is an official journal of the AAAAI, focusing on practical information for the practicing clinician.