New tool to assess asthma-related anxiety

May 5, 2011

When children or adolescents with asthma and their parents become overly anxious about the disorder, it may impair their ability to manage the asthma effectively. A new, effective tool to assess asthma-related anxiety is described in an article in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online.

A high level of disease-related anxiety among adults with asthma has been associated with an to and overuse of medication. To assess asthma-related anxiety among and their parents, a team of researchers from New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, NYU, and LaSalle University (Philadelphia, PA) developed and validated a . Jean-Marie Bruzzese, PhD, Lynne Unikel, PhD, Patrick Shrout, PhD, and Rachel Klein, PhD, tested their Youth Asthma-related Anxiety Scale (YAAS) and Parent Asthma-related Anxiety Scale (PAAS) on a population of adolescents and their parents. The results highlight two key factors—anxiety about asthma severity and about disease-related restrictions—that are good indicators of overall asthma-related anxiety. The authors describe the design and utility of the YAAS and PAAS in the article, "Youth and Parent Versions of the Asthma-related Anxiety Scale: Development and Initial Testing."

"This will be a valuable tool for asthma researchers," says Harold Farber, MD, MSPH, Editor of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Section of Pulmonology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX. "Now that we have validated measures for asthma-related anxiety in children and their parents, future research will be able to measure the impact of asthma-related anxiety on asthma outcomes. This will help us better understand how to deliver the best asthma care for our children."

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