Diagnosing pediatric asthma: Validating the easy breathing survey

Charles B. Hall, Dorothy Wakefield, Tiffany M. Rowe, Penelope S. Carlisle, Michelle M. Cloutier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value of a simple, self-administered questionnaire for the diagnosis of asthma in children. Study design: A questionnaire specifically designed to assist primary care providers in making a diagnosis of asthma in children was developed and administered in 4 different primary care and subspecialty clinics, validated, and then used as part of an asthma management program called Easy Breathing. Asthma diagnoses were made according to recommended National Asthma Expert Panel Guidelines. Results: Four questions on the survey were shown to be sensitive and specific for asthma. The sensitivity was greater for all levels (mild, moderate, and severe) of persistent asthma than for mild, intermittent asthma. A positive response to any 1 of the 4 questions was over 94% sensitive for asthma; a negative response to all 4 questions was 55% specific for ruling out asthma. Conclusions: Patient responses to 4 specific respiratory symptom questions can assist primary care providers in diagnosing asthma in children. Primary care providers serving pediatric populations at high risk for asthma should consider asking patients or their parents these 4 questions regarding asthma symptoms on a regular basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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