Development and Validation of a Brief Pediatric Screen for Asthma and Allergies Among Children
Background: Asthma is the most common disease of childhood, but the recognition and detection remain poor, especially among schoolchildren. There has been an increase in the number of instruments available to detect the risk of asthma earlier in children. We have previously validated a simple, self-reported screen, the Brief Pediatric Asthma Screen (BPAS).
Objective: To develop a new screen for asthma and allergies based on the BPAS (BPAS ) with the intent of keeping the screen brief and simple, while including allergy detection.
Methods: Questions from the BPAS were extensively revised, and questions regarding allergic rhinitis were added. A panel of parents of asthmatic children reviewed and critiqued the questions. The final BPAS was distributed in elementary schools, and a cohort of 129 participated in a validation against the gold standard of evaluation by an expert in asthma.
Results: For asthma the best items were wheeze, persistent cough, night cough, and response to change in air temperature. The simplest scoring, any 1 of the 4 items, yielded the best balance of specificity (73.6%) and sensitivity (73.3%). For allergy, using all six items, having any one or any two of the items had sensitivity of 71.4% and specificity of 77.3%.
Conclusions: The BPAS provides a rapid and valid method for the detection of potential allergy and asthma in schoolchildren. Sensitivity and specificity are acceptable for both asthma and allergies.