An acute cough-specific quality-of-life questionnaire for children: Development and validation

Sophie Anderson-James, Peter Newcombe, Julie Marchant, Kerry-Ann O'Grady, Jason Acworth, D Stone, C Turner, Anne Chang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: Patient-relevant outcome measures are essential for high-quality clinical research, and quality-of-life (QoL) tools are the current standard. Currently, there is no validated children's acute cough-specific QoL questionnaire.

    The objective of this study was to develop and validate the Parent-proxy Children's Acute Cough-specific QoL Questionnaire (PAC-QoL).

    Using focus groups, a 48-item PAC-QoL questionnaire was developed and later reduced to 16 items by using the clinical impact method. Parents of children with a current acute cough (<2 weeks) at enrollment completed 2 validated cough score measures, the preliminary 48-item PAC-QoL, and 3 other questionnaires (the State Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI], the Short-Form 8-item 24-hour recall Health Survey [SF-8], and the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress 21-item Scale [DASS21]). All measures were repeated on days 3 and 14.

    The median age of the 155 children enrolled was 2.3 years (interquartile range, 1.3-4.6). Median cough duration at enrollment was 3 days (interquartile range, 2-5). The reduced 16-item scale had high internal consistency (Cronbach α = 0.95). Evidence for repeatability and criterion validity was shown by significant correlations between the domains and total PAC-QoL scores and the SF-8 (r = −0.36 and −0.51), STAI (r = −0.27 and −0.39), and DASS21 (r = −0.32 and −0.41) scales on days 0 and 3, respectively. The final PAC-QoL questionnaire was sensitive to change over time, with changes significantly relating to changes in cough score measures (P < .001).

    The 16-item PAC-QoL is a reliable and valid outcome measure that assesses QoL related to childhood acute cough at a given time point and reflects changes in acute cough-specific QoL over time.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1179-1185
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2015


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