An asthma diary proved to be feasible and responsive to day-to-day changes in the severity of asthma exacerbations in preschool-aged children, according to study results.
Francine M. Ducharme, MD, a professor in the departments of pediatrics and social and preventive medicine at University of Montréal, and colleagues attempted to develop and validate a functional status instrument that assessed asthma exacerbation severity in young children.
Parents of 121 children (median age 2.7 years; 59.5% boys) completed the 17-item Asthma Flare-up Diary for Young Children (ADYC) each day from the onset of an upper respiratory tract infection until asthma symptoms moved out.
Of the 871 episodes that researchers determined as valid ADYC sets, 44.7% indicated a valid asthma exacerbation and 18% resulted in an ED visit.
The diary indicated significant differences between asthma exacerbations and upper respiratory infections for exacerbations that led to an acute care visit (mean difference = 9.1; 95% CI, 7.6-10.7), systemic corticosteroid use (MD = 10.1; 95% CI, 8.3-12) and hospitalization (MD = 6.8; 95% CI, 2.9-10.7).
The diary appeared to be valid for the use of identifying asthma exacerbations in a young patient population, according to the researchers.
“Available in French and English, the ADYC has demonstrated feasibility, reliability, discrimination, and responsiveness in the context of a clinical trial,” the researchers wrote. “The ADYC is offered as an asthma-specific research instrument to monitor change in functional status occurring day to day or over the short duration of an exacerbation in preschool-aged asthmatic children.” – by Ryan McDonald
Disclosure: Ducharme reports receiving research support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Please see the full study for a list of all of Ducharme’s relevant financial disclosures.