Using the Pediatric Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire to Measure Asthma Control and Healthcare Utilization in Children


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Abstract

Background:The usefulness of questionnaires to assess asthma control in clinical practice is recognized in recent international guidelines. While several questionnaires have been developed to measure asthma control in adults, there has been little study of the performance of such instruments in children.Objective:To determine whether there is an association between asthma-related healthcare use and poor asthma control, as determined by categorical score on the control domain of the Asthma Therapy Assessment Questionnaire for children and adolescents (the pediatric ATAQ).Methods:An analysis of a 1998 mailed survey of parents or caregivers of children aged 5–17 years with asthma enrolled in three large managed-care organizations in the Northeast and Midwest US was conducted. Pediatric ATAQ control domain score (reported for the past 4 weeks) was the main outcome measure. The pediatric ATAQ control domain was scored from 0 to 7, with 0 indicating no asthma control problems as measured by the questionnaire, and higher scores indicating increasing asthma problems. The hypothesis of an association between pediatric ATAQ control domain score and asthma-related healthcare use (hospitalizations, ER or urgent care facility visits, and doctor visits for worsening asthma in the past 12 months) was examined.Results:406 completed surveys were received. Asthma-related hospitalizations, ER/urgent care visits, and doctor visits were reported for 38, 173, and 319 children, respectively. Of the three control score categories (0, 1–3, and 4–7), children with a control score of 4–7 were more likely to have been hospitalized (p = 0.01), to have visited the ER or urgent care facility (p < 0.0001), or to have visited a doctor (p = 0.0001) because of asthma managed care.In multivariate models including demographic variables and a measure of general health status, higher odds of ER/urgent care visits (odds ratio [OR] 3.47, 95% CI 1.92, 6.26) and doctor visits (OR 7.14; 95% CI 2.40, 21.2) was observed for children with an asthma control score of 4–7 than for children with no identified asthma control problems (score of 0). An asthma control score of 4–7 was significantly associated with hospitalization in a multivariate model including only demographic variables (OR 3.06; 95% CI 1.28, 7.33) but not in a model that included general health status (OR 2.44; 95% CI 0.96, 6.16). Relative to an excellent health status, a fair or poor health status was significantly associated with asthma-related hospitalization (OR 7.03; 95% CI 1.71, 28.87). Compared with White race, Black race was significantly associated with hospitalization (OR 2.30; 95% CI 1.05, 5.04) and ER/urgent care visits (OR 2.89; 95% CI 1.67, 5.01).Conclusions:Children identified as having poor asthma control using the pediatric ATAQ instrument had significantly higher rates of asthma-related hospitalizations, ER or urgent care visits, and doctor visits than those with good control. This asthma control measure may be useful in identifying children in need of more intensive asthma management.

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