Validity of the IUATLD (1986) questionnaire in the EGEA study
OBJECTIVES: To assess the validity of the questions regarding asthmatics included in a case-control study, and to assess their validity as regards bronchial hyperresponsiveness in population-based subjects.
DESIGN: Data from the case-control Epidemiological study on the Genetics and Environment of Asthma, bronchial hyperresponsiveness and atopy (EGEA) were used. The analysis concerned 201 adult asthmatic cases recruited in chest clinics through a standardised protocol and 284 population-based controls.
RESULTS: The analysis of the case-control study regarding asthma showed a sensitivity of 0.56, 0.68 and 0.86 for nocturnal symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, and chest tightness, and a specificity of 0.72, 0.98 and 0.89. As regards bronchial hyperresponsiveness (PD20 ≤4 mg) in the control group, specificity was high (0.77, 0.99 and 0.90), but sensitivity was markedly lower (0.36, 0.11 and 0.20).
CONCLUSION: Asthma-like symptoms assessed by the IUATLD questionnaire have good validity, both for specificity and sensitivity, for asthma patients recruited in chest clinics. In general populations, questions have a high specificity, an important criterion in aetiological epidemiological research, and they were designed in that perspective. However their moderate sensitivity limits their usefulness as a screening test.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Affiliations: INSERM (Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale) U472, Villejuif, France
Publication date: February 1, 2001
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