Monitoring Asthma (Lung Biology in Health and Disease, by Peter G. Gibson

By Peter G. Gibson

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Extra info for Monitoring Asthma (Lung Biology in Health and Disease, Volume 207)

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For children, probably the most widely used is the Child Health Questionnaire (39). These questionnaires measure impairment over a broad spectrum of functions, and the great advantage of generic instruments is that burden of illness can be compared across different medical conditions. For instance, one can compare the burden of illness experienced by patients with asthma, COPD, rhinitis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. (40,41). However, because they are required to be broad in their comprehensiveness, they have very little depth, and therefore impairments that are important to patients with a specific condition may not be included.

The specificity of asthma symptoms is likely to be increased when details of triggering factors, seasonal variation, and response to treatment are explored (2). The mechanisms for asthma symptoms are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Cough—via airway irritant receptor stimulation by chemicals from the inflammatory process in the airways, bronchoconstriction or the presence of mucous in the airways (3). Wheezing—from bronchoconstriction or narrowing of the airway lumen by smooth muscle contraction, thickening of the airway wall and/or the presence of mucous in the lumen (4).

There are likely to be other populations of asthmatic people who have apparently reduced Figure 1 Perception of asthma symptoms. Symptoms: Monitoring, Perceptions 9 awareness which may be related to denial, chronic poor control, or perhaps centrally acting medications including alcohol. There are many factors which will influence perception and an individual’s perception will not necessarily remain constant over time. Roisman et al. (41) reported interesting data on perception in asthma with several possible interpretations.

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