2005 Volume 54 Issue 4 Pages 589-599
Background: A self-recorded instrument for children with asthma needed to be developed to measure their quality of life (QOL). Therefore, the JSCA-QOL questionnaire was revised into a briefer third version, consisting of 5 domains (25 questions) and a summative scale. The purpose was to examine the possibility of identifying children with poor QOL requiring medical or social support, and to devise a practical form of evaluating a nationwide investigation using this instrument.
Methods: Doctors at hospital and clinics throughout Japan distributed the JSCA-QOL to 5308 10- to 18-year-old children with asthma. The questionnaires were returned by mail, after having been filled out by the subjects, who authorized their participation in the investigation by signing the questionnaire.
Results: A total of 2097 children with asthma, who fully completed the questionnaire, were included in the study. As a result of analysis, it was clear that the characteristics of the low score group (under the 10th percentile of QOL scores) were noticeably different from those of the other groups, in the following ways: (i) many children had moderate to severe asthma, (ii) the answers showed different distributions from those of the other groups, (iii) the answers in most "feeling level" questions showed a significantly different distribution. A radar chart was developed for efficient evaluation of children's QOL profiles.
Conclusions: It was very useful to separate the low score group (LSG) with the 10th percentile of the QOL score to distinguish the children who needed special support. The evaluation of the QOL profile was simplified by using the radar chart concept.
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