Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
versão On-line ISSN 1414-431X
CABRAL, A.L.B.; CONCEICAO, G.M.; SALDIVA, P.H.N. e MARTINS, M.A.. Effect of asthma severity on symptom perception in childhood asthma. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2002, vol.35, n.3, pp. 319-327. ISSN 1414-431X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2002000300006.
Individual ability to perceive airway obstruction varies substantially. The factors influencing the perception of asthma are probably numerous and not well established in children. The present study was designed to examine the influence of asthma severity, use of preventive medication, age and gender on the association between respiratory symptoms (RS) and peak expiratory flow (PEF) rates in asthmatic children. We followed 92 asthmatic children, aged 6 to 16 years, for five months. Symptom scores were recorded daily and PEF was measured twice a day. The correlations among variables at the within-person level over time were analyzed for each child and for the pooled data by multivariate analysis. After pooling the data, there was a significant (P<0.05) correlation between each symptom and PEF; 60% of the children were accurate perceivers (defined by a statistically significant correlation between symptoms and PEF across time) for diurnal symptoms and 37% for nocturnal symptoms. The accuracy of perception was independent of asthma severity, age, gender or the use of preventive medication. Symptom perception is inaccurate in a substantial number of asthmatic children, independently of clinical severity, age, gender or use of preventive medication. It is not clear why some asthmatic patients are capable of accurately perceiving the severity of airway obstruction while others are not.
Palavras-chave : Asthma; Asthma severity; Pulmonary function tests; Symptom perception; Childhood asthma.