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A new 7-item questionnaire that identifies children aged 4 to 11 who have poorly controlled asthma was revealed at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in early October. Called the Childhood Asthma Control Test, it is designed for use in a pediatrician's office. The test asks children, with a caregiver's assistance, to answer 4 questions, while the caregiver answers the other 3. It complements a similar test already available for children aged 12 and older that is supported by the American Lung Association.
The researchers developed the test based on a trial of a 21-item questionnaire administered to 344 patients with asthma and their caregivers in 9 specialist clinics throughout the United States. The results were compared with specialists' ratings of asthma control based on patient history and spirometry (a fast and easy lung function test performed in the physician's office). The researchers were able to reduce the number of items to the 7 that were best able to discriminate a child's asthma control status.