Quality of Life in School-Aged Children With Asthma vs Those Without

child with asthma using inhaler
Urban-based, elementary school-aged minority children with asthma and their parents reported lower quality of life.

Urban-based, elementary school-aged minority children with asthma and their parents reported lower quality of life (QoL) and had more frequent visits to the emergency department (ED) compared with those without asthma, according to the results of a prospective, cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Asthma.

Investigators sought to explore the association between the presence and severity of asthma in minority children living in urban American areas, and to report the QoL of these children and their families. A convenience sample of children was recruited from the pediatric ED and a specialized ED-based asthma clinic — Improving Pediatric Asthma Care in the District of Columbia (IMPACT DC) — at the large Children’s National Hospital (CNH) in Washington, DC, between December 2016 and March 2017. Among the ED visits to CNH in 2016, approximately 7000 involved a primary discharge of asthma in patients aged 1 to 17 years.

In the current study, researchers measured child and parent QoL using the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Version 4 (PEDSQL4). The researchers also evaluated the associations of PEDSQL4 scores with asthma, educational attainment of the parents, and frequency of ED visits. A total of 66 children were enrolled; 76% were Black and 61% were girls. The mean participant age was 10.13 years in children with asthma and 9.94 years in those without asthma.

Overall, child QoL was significantly higher in those without asthma (P =.017). Children with asthma visited the ED nearly twice as often as those without asthma (P <.001). Further, parent QOL was significantly lower compared with the QOL of parents of children without asthma (P =.04). Among children who had asthma, higher overall QoL was related to decreased asthma severity, more frequent ED visits, and having parents who were college graduates.

Study limitations included the small sample size and the cross-sectional design. Moreover, the participants were recruited from a single site, were limited to those from English-speaking families, and were all from only 1 school district.

The investigators concluded that comprehension of a child’s and parent’s perspectives on the association between QoL and asthma may help to inform effective interventions.


Agrawal S, Iqbal S, Patel SJ, Freishtat R, Kochhar-Bryant C. Quality of life in at-risk school-aged children with asthma. J Asthma. Published online September 30, 2020. doi:10.1080/02770903.2020.1825732