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Assessing Asthma Control

Assessing Asthma Control

The Asthma Control Test (ACT) has long been used as a quick survey to assess how well asthma symptoms are controlled among patients aged 12 and older, while the Childhood ACT (CACT) is used for such testing in younger children. More recently, the Asthma APGAR system has emerged as an alternative to ACT/CACT because of an implied ability to assess asthma control and reasons for inadequate control. However, little is known about how the Asthma APGAR system compares with ACT/CACT in the assessment of asthma control. Comparing Tests For a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Barbara P. Yawn, MD, MSc, MSPH, and colleagues sought to compare the impact of the Asthma APGAR system versus that of ACT/CACT on patient outcomes. Participants required daily asthma therapy and were asked to complete ACT in written form, several other asthma-related questions, and then the Asthma APGAR test. Children aged 5 to 11 completed the CACT, often with help from a parent. “The ACT and APGAR tests are highly comparable,” says Dr. Yawn, whose study results showed an overall agreement of 84.4% between the tests. “However, ACT doesn’t identify factors that may contribute to poorly controlled asthma. In contrast, the APGAR test was able to identify an actionable item for asthma control in more than three-quarters of cases. For pulmonologists, this can help speed up care by informing us about where to look for problems. The Asthma APGAR system was designed to not only help identify poor or inadequate control, but also to highlight the most common reasons why it isn’t under control. Our study demonstrated that the Asthma APGAR system could...
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