Symptom perception and asthma control.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES Asthma control is the goal of asthma management. The perception of asthma symptoms represents a cornerstone aspect in this issue. The visual analogue scale (VAS) has been proposed as a useful tool for assessing respiratory symptoms perception. The present cross-sectional real-life study investigated whether VAS assessment of asthma symptoms perception could predict asthma control level. METHODS This cross-sectional study included a total of 370 (153 males, mean age 39.9 years) patients with asthma. Perception of asthma symptoms was assessed by VAS; clinical examination, lung function, fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) measurement, Asthma Control Test (ACT) and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale questionnaires were also evaluated. RESULTS Asthma was well controlled in 47% of patients. Considering most of the evaluated parameters, there were significant differences among patients with well-controlled, partly controlled and uncontrolled asthma. VAS values were significantly (p < 0.001) different considering the asthma control level. VAS score were significantly related with ACT scores (p < 0.001). A VAS <6 was able to reliably predict uncontrolled asthma (area under the curve: 0.74; odds ratio: 5.16). CONCLUSION The present real-life study demonstrates that asthma symptoms assessment by VAS might be useful for approximately predicting uncontrolled asthma in particular conditions, such as at home or at the general practitioner's office.

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