How does the Canadian Acute Respiratory Illness and Flu Scale relate to other scales in pediatric asthma exacerbations?

Laurel Teoh, Mark D. Chatfield, Jason P. Acworth, Gabrielle B. McCallum, Anne B. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: In children with asthma exacerbations, we evaluated the relationship between Canadian Acute Respiratory Illness and Flu Scale (CARIFS) scores and (a) Asthma Diary Scale (ADS) scores for 14 days; (b) Pediatric Asthma Caregiver’s Quality of Life (QoL) Questionnaire (PACQLQ) scores on days 1, 7 and 14; (c) viral detection. We hypothesized that in children with acute asthma, CARIFS scores correlate with ADS and PACQLQ scores over time and that viruses have little impact on CARIFS scores. 

Methods: In children aged 2–16 years who presented with acute asthma to the Emergency Departments of 2 hospitals, we documented the clinical history, examination, asthma severity at baseline and on presentation. Eighteen respiratory pathogens were determined by PCR on nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) collected on recruitment. The parent(s) recorded their child’s daily CARIFS and ADS and weekly PACQLQ for 14 days. We used Spearman’s correlation to relate the scores of 108 children. 

Results: CARIFS scores correlated well with ADS scores throughout 14 days (rs ranged 0.30–0.67). CARIFS and PACQLQ scores correlated −0.28, −0.14 and −0.44 on days 1, 7 and 14 respectively. There was no significant difference in CARIFS scores between children whose NPAs were PCR virus-positive or -negative over 14 days. 

Conclusions: CARIFS and ADS scores correlated well as a disease severity measure during the recovery period in children with acute asthma and this was not influenced by the virus state. The ADS may be used as an alternative in selected situations. The CARIFS reflects different aspects to acute asthma severity and QoL.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Asthma
Early online date10 Jul 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Jul 2021


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