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Asthma Impairment and Risk Questionnaire (AIRQ) predicts exacerbation risk

Published: August 20, 2022

The Asthma Impairment and Risk Questionnaire (AIRQ) is a validated, 10-item, yes/no asthma control tool that assesses both symptom impairment and exacerbation risk in patients aged 12 years or older. An AIRQ score of 0–1 “yes” answers indicate well-controlled asthma, 2–4 not well-controlled asthma, and 5–10 very poorly controlled asthma.

In a research article recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice, Beuther and colleagues evaluated the ability of the AIRQ to predict patient-reported asthma exacerbations over a 12-month follow-up period. Patients completed a baseline AIRQ at enrollment and subsequently reported exacerbations via monthly online surveys; exacerbations were defined as asthma-related courses of oral corticosteroids, emergency department or urgent care visits, or hospitalizations.

According to the surveys, just under half of the 1070 patients evaluated had one or more exacerbations during the 12-month follow-up period, and over one-quarter of patients had two or more exacerbations. Of patients assessed by the AIRQ as not well-controlled or very poorly controlled, over half had one or more exacerbations, and over a third had two or more. Statistical analyses found that compared to patients in the well-controlled asthma group, patients with not well-controlled asthma had more than twice the risk of experiencing one or more exacerbations in the next year, and patients with very poorly controlled asthma had more than four times the risk. Using the AIRQ, health care professionals and patients can engage in shared decision-making about interventions that can potentially improve asthma control and reduce the risk for future exacerbations.

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

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