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Development and validation of school-based asthma and allergy screening questionnaires in a 4-city study *

Background: Asthma and allergies are commonly undiagnosed in children. Schools provide settings for potentially accessing almost all children for asthma and allergy screening.


Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and validity of using a questionnaire-based screening tool to identify undiagnosed asthma and respiratory allergies in children in kindergarten to grade 6.


Methods: A student questionnaire (SQ) and a parent questionnaire (PQ) were developed, administered in 4 diverse communities, and validated against standardized clinical assessments. Children without diagnosed asthma and representing a range of symptoms participated in a validation study that consisted of independent, standardized, clinical assessments. Sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values for questionnaire items were evaluated against expert consensus designations.


Results: A total of 190 children (age range, 7-13 years) completed the validation study. Affirmative responses to individual questions from either the SQ or PQ regarding asthma and allergy were modestly to moderately predictive of the clinical assessments (odds ratios, generally 2.5-5.0). When considering a positive asthma screen as affirmative responses to 3 of the best 7 SQ asthma questions, the odds ratio for asthma was 9.3 (95% confidence interval, 4.1-21.1), with 80% sensitivity and 70% specificity. Considering the allergy screen as positive based on affirmative response to either of the 2 SQ allergy questions yielded 81% sensitivity and 42% specificity.


Conclusions: Either a 9-item SQ or a 10-item PQ can be used in diverse settings to screen for asthma and respiratory allergies. The SQ, obtained by directly screening students, may provide a sensitive approach for detecting children with previously undiagnosed asthma and allergies.

* Legal Disclaimer: Chelation and Hyperbaric Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, and other treatments and modalities mentioned or referred to in this web site are medical techniques that may or may not be considered “mainstream”. As with any medical treatment, results will vary among individuals, and there is no implication or guarantee that you will heal or achieve the same outcome as patients herein.

As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 03-30-2007