Free Content Agreement of a child's respiratory symptom diary with parental reports and peak expiratory flow

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Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: To assess the agreement of a self-completed diary to monitor respiratory symptoms in children aged 6–12 years with parental symptom reports and fluctuations in lung function.

DESIGN: We created a text- and symbol-based questionnaire for daily completion by children at school. Using a screening questionnaire completed by the parents, we selected 101 children with lower respiratory symptoms in the last year or doctor-diagnosed asthma to complete the diary. We assessed the agreement with a parent-completed daily symptom diary and measurements of peak expiratory flow (PEF) over 5 weeks, estimating % agreement and the kappa statistic (κ) for pairwise comparisons.

RESULTS: Simple agreement between PEF variability, parent-reported and child-reported symptoms was moderate to high. Using κ, agreement between children's and parents' reports of respiratory symptoms was only fair to moderate, and agreement with lung function measurements was poor for both parent- and child-reported symptoms.

CONCLUSION: Agreement between children's and parents' reports on day-to-day respiratory symptoms was fair to moderate. The children's symptom diary agreed poorly with lung function measurements, but was neither worse nor better than the parent-completed diary.

Keywords: childhood asthma; epidemiological methods; respiratory questionnaire

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Medical Department, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway 2: Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway 3: Center for Ecological Economics, Norwegian Institute for Air Research (NILU), Kjeller, Norway 4: Medical Department, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway; Helse Øst Health Services Research Centre, Lørenskog, Norway; and Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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