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Childhood asthma: Can computers aid detection in general practice?


Kable, S and Henry, R and Sanson-Fisher, R and Ireland, M and Corkrey, R and Cockburn, J, Childhood asthma: Can computers aid detection in general practice? , British Journal of General Practice, 51 pp. 112-116. ISSN 0960-1643 (2001) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2001 British Journal of General Practice

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Background: Childhood asthma remains underdiagnosed in general practice. Computers with a patient interface have the potential to screen children for asthma in a time-efficient manner.

Aim: To develop a concise, validated self-report measure that calculates an ‘asthma score’ that predicts likelihood of asthma and its severity in childhood.

Design of study: Computerised questionnaire survey in general practitioners’(GPs’) waiting rooms, followed by a written questionnaire and either bronchial challenge or skin allergy testing at the regional teaching hospital.

Setting: Children between 18 months and 18 years old accompanied by a parent or guardian in five group practices in Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia.

Method: The responses from both the computerised questionnaire and the written questionnaire were compared with physician assessment of asthma, based on an existing validated questionnaire and clinical tests.

Results: Six items were identified to be independently and significantly associated (at P<0.05) with the presence of asthma and its severity: parent or self-reported asthma, previous diagnosis, wheeze in the past year, physical activity affected by symptoms, night cough in the past year, and visits to a GP in the past year. From the regression model a linear score was derived that indicates whether a child is likely to have asthma and its likely severity.

Conclusions: The asthma score is a valid indicator of asthma and its severity in children in general practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:asthma, children, computers, screening
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Corkrey, R (Dr Ross Corkrey)
ID Code:39589
Year Published:2001
Web of Science® Times Cited:15
Deposited By:Agricultural Science
Deposited On:2006-06-08
Last Modified:2015-04-01

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