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Discrepancies between lung function and asthma control: Asthma perception and association with demographics and anxiety

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Understanding asthma symptom perception is necessary for reducing unnecessary costs both for asthma sufferers and society and will contribute to improving asthma management. The primary aim of this study was to develop and test a standardized method for classification of asthma perceiver categories into under-, normal, and overperceiver groups based on the comparison between self-report and lung function components of asthma control. Additionally, the degree to which demographic variables and anxiety contributed to the classification of patients into perceiver groups was examined. Patients underwent methacholine or reversibility testing to confirm asthma diagnosis. Next, participants completed lung function testing over 3 days before their next appointment. Finally, patients filled out demographic and self-report measures including the Asthma Control Test (ACT). Each self-report category of control assessed by the ACT (interference, shortness of breath, nighttime awakenings, rescue inhaler usage, and a composite total score) was compared with lung function measurements using a modified version of the asthma risk grid. Using the modified asthma risk grid to determine perceiver categorization, this sample included 14 underperceivers, 29 normal perceivers, and 36 overperceivers. A discriminant analysis was performed that indicated that a majority of underperceivers were characterized by being African American and having low asthma-specific anxiety. Normal perceivers in this sample tended to be older. Overperceivers tended to be female. Our findings encourage further research using the reported method of classifying asthma patients into perceiver categories.
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Keywords: anxiety; asthma; asthma control; asthma management; asthma risk grid; asthma-specific anxiety; classification; lung function; race; symptom perception

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA

Publication date: 2012-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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