Limitations of questioning asthma to assess asthma control in general practice

Wanda Hagmolen of ten Have*, Norbert J. van den Berg, Job van der Palen, Wim M C van Aalderen, Patrick J E Bindels

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The monitoring of children with asthma in primary care is based on the occurrence and frequency of asthma symptoms. We questioned whether the current approach is adequate to identify all children in whom a sufficient level of asthma control is not achieved. Aim: The aim of this study is to illustrate that in some children asthma was incorrectly considered controlled, because the children failed to report current symptoms of asthma. Patients and methods: One hundred and nineteen children were identified with recent wheezing plus moderate or severe airway hyperresponsiveness. We analyzed whether these children reported current symptoms of asthma (as normally questioned during a routine visit). Results: In 20 children (18%) current asthma symptoms were absent despite moderately or severe airway hyperresponsiveness and wheezing in the last year. In addition, the usage of controller medication was very poor. Conclusion: We conclude that the general practitioner has insufficient tools to adequately assess asthma control in all children. The assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness as an additional guide to manage asthma in children in general practice is recommended. In this way, better asthma control can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1153-1158
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2008


  • Asthma
  • Bronchial hyperreactivity
  • Child
  • Family practice


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