Quality of Life for Adults with Asthma in a Military Setting
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Asthma is a disease that affects millions of Americans. The financial, functional and emotional costs are substantial and have a significant impact on quality of life. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the severity of asthma via clinical and functional parameters and the quality of life described by adults with asthma in the military health care system. A convenience sample of 39 subjects with the diagnosis of asthma at a major military medical center completed a self-administered survey which included demographic information and symptoms with measures of lung function. The survey included the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire AQLQ developed by E. Juniper and associates. Missing data for symptom frequency and lung function measures necessitated a revision in the question that related to nighttime symptoms after the first month of data collection. In the data collected prior to the revision a statistically significant correlation was seen in the four domains of activities, emotions, symptoms, and environment and in the overall score of quality of life within dices for symptom severity. There was nonsignificant correlation to lung function. After the revision of the tool, data correlated to lung function and not to symptom severity. Although the small sample size and the lack of adequate information relating to symptom severity may explain these findings, asthma may affect quality of life in ways that objective clinical measures cannot predict. This is consistent with the Conceptual Model of Symptom Management in which quality of life is one of ten interrelated dimensions of symptom outcomes. Providers should include assessment for quality of life to understand the patients perspective and provide a comprehensive approach to asthma management.