Study objectives and design: Health-related quality of life (QoL) instruments are generally used for studies of asthma in specialized settings. For primary care use, there is a need for brief and simple questionnaires for structured patient-reported outcomes. We validated the Mini-Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (Mini-AQLQ), using the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire with standardized activities (AQLQ[S]) as the “gold standard.” The Asthma Control Questionnaire (ACQ) was validated against the symptoms domain of the AQLQ(S). Patients were characterized by the Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36).
Subjects: One hundred eight patients (68 women) with asthma diagnosed by their physicians from 24 primary care centers completed two visits (2 to 3 months apart). Their mean SF-36 scores were lower than the national norm for all domains.
Results: The Mini-AQLQ and ACQ correlated well with the AQLQ(S). Reliability, determined in 57 patients with stable AQLQ(S) scores, was good. Both brief questionnaires detected improvement or deterioration of patients at the group level. Global ratings of disease severity by patients or clinicians correlated poorly with disease-specific QoL scores.
Conclusions: The Mini-AQLQ and ACQ instruments are sufficiently simple and robust to be suitable for research and quality of care monitoring in primary care at the group level. They may, after further validation, even be useful in the management of individual patients.