Pre-school children are frequently affected by wheezing illness, with substantial influences on their health-related quality of life (HRQL). The Infant/Toddler Quality of Life Questionnaire (ITQOL) is the only generic health status measure for children aged 2 months up to 5 years. In this present study we evaluated the impact of wheezing illness in pre-school children on the HRQL, using the ITQOL. A questionnaire including the ITQOL and ISAAC questions on frequency and severity of respiratory complaints were sent to parents of patients aged 6 months-5 years visiting the outpatient department with wheezing illness. Scale scores of ITQOL of the included children were compared with general population scores. Using multivariate analysis, the influence of general and clinical characteristics on ITQOL scale scores was evaluated. Results are based on 138 children, 59% male, mean age 34 months. Children with wheezing illness scored differently to the general population sample on 8 of the 11 ITQOL scales. Age, comorbidity and employment of the respondent affected scales on child's physical and emotional functioning and parental functioning. Severity of dyspnoea and wheezing, presence of cough, corticosteroid use, and number of GP visits negatively affected scales on the child's physical and emotional functioning. In conclusion, the HRQL as measured by the ITQOL was lower in a group of Dutch preschool children with wheezing illness compared to a general population sample. The scale scores were sensitive to age, co morbidity, socio-economic situation, and disease severity.

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Pediatric Pulmonology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Oostenbrink, R, Jansingh-Piepers, E.M, Raat, H, Nuijsink, M, Landgraf, J.M, Essink-Bot, M.L.E, & Moll, H.A. (2006). Health-related quality of life of pre-school children with wheezing illness. Pediatric Pulmonology, 41(10), 993–1000. doi:10.1002/ppul.20486