PURPOSE: Asthma is a common, chronic disease affecting millions of children worldwide. The global Room to Breathe survey was conducted to generate a detailed picture of asthma control and how it affects children’ s lives.
METHODS: Families had to have ≥1 child (aged 4-15 years) with physician-diagnosed asthma. Interviews were conducted with parents and children (≥8 years) by telephone (Canada, Greece, Hungary, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom) or face-to-face (South Africa). Here, we present the Canadian data, compared with results from the other countries.
RESULTS: 1284 parental interviews were conducted worldwide (228 in Canada); interviews were conducted in 943 children worldwide (159 in Canada). Canadian parents were no more likely to describe their child’ s asthma as moderate (18.9%) or severe (4.8%) than parents in other countries (odds ratio [OR] 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.56-1.13). Similarly, Canadian children were no more likely to describe their asthma as ‘bad’ than children in other countries (OR 0.78; 95% CI 0.47-1.25). However, there was very poor agreement between parents’ and children’ s assessment of asthma severity on a 4-point scale (kappa=0.143). Only 11.8% of Canadian children achieved complete GINA guideline-defined control; this was not significantly worse than other countries (11.8% vs 15.3%, P=0.175). Canadian children were much more likely than children in other countries to: consider asthma a barrier to sport (54.1% vs 35.2%, P<0.001); feel sad (18.2% vs 12.1%, P=0.037) and feel left out (13.2% vs 8.4%, P=0.057); and less likely to feel ‘no different’ from their peers (31.5% vs 51.4%, P<0.001) because of their asthma.
CONCLUSION: Parents from all countries surveyed either underestimate the severity of their children’ s asthma, or have low health expectations, as complete asthma control is rare. Canadian children with asthma are more likely to feel sad and left out, less able to participate in sport and feel different from their peers, than children in other countries.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Efforts are required to improve control and health expectations in Canadian children with asthma.
DISCLOSURE: William Carroll, Grant monies (from industry related sources) William D. Carroll has received fees for performing research from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Teva and Nycomed.Johannes Wildhaber and Paul L.P. Brand have received fees for performing research from GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Merck and Nycomed.; Consultant fee, speaker bureau, advisory committee, etc. William D. Carroll has received fees for giving presentations, and consultancy from GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Teva and Nycomed. Johannes Wildhaber and Paul L.P. Brand have received fees for giving presentations and consultancy from GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca, Merck and Nycomed.; Other Will Carroll has received sponsorship and support to attend respiratory meetings from GlaxoSmithKline, ALK-Abelló, Merck Sharp & Dohme and Nycomed.; No Product/Research Disclosure Information