Health-related quality of life in childhood bronchial asthma
Background: Asthma is a public health problem that adversely affects different aspects of quality of life (QoL). Childhood asthma is common in Egypt and associated with repeated school absenteeism and hospital admission. Objective: To evaluate health-related quality of life (QoL) in children with bronchial asthma in an attempt to identify the most important determinants adversely affecting the QoL. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 140 children with physician- diagnosed bronchial asthma were clinically evaluated to determine level of asthma control and were administered pediatric asthma quality of life questionnaire (PAQLQ), and questionnaire for the main determinants affecting QoL including sociodemographic, disease-related and patient-related factors. Results: They were 77 males and 63 females whose ages ranged between 7 and 17 years with a mean of 10.2 years. The overall PAQLQ score ranged between 2.22 and 6.61 with a mean ± SD of 4.08 ± 1. Uncontrolled asthma was associated with the lowest QoL scores (p ≤ 0.01). Users of systemic steroids had significantly lower overall PAQLQ score, score of symptoms, score of emotional function than non-users (p < 0.05). Difficulty in obtaining the drugs significantly adversely affects the patient QoL scores apart from that of activity limitation (p<0.05). Parental smoking, use of systemic steroids, difficulties in obtaining drugs, asthma related hospital admission and level of asthma control were the determinants of overall PAQLQ score for children with bronchial asthma. Conclusion: Childhood asthma significantly adversely affects the QoL of the affected children. Control of the main determinants of QoL scores might improve the QoL of these patients.
Keywords: Childhood asthma, Quality of Life, Asthma control, Parental smoking