Longitudinal study of quality of life among children with acute respiratory infection and cough

Yolanda G. Lovie-Toon, Anne Chang, Peter A. Newcombe, Dimitrios Vagenas, Sophie Anderson-James, Benjamin J Drescher, Michael E. Otim, Kerry Ann F O’Grady

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs), and associated symptoms such as cough, are frequently experienced among children and impose a burden on families (e.g., use of medical resources and time off work/school). However, there are little data on changes in, and predictors of, quality of life (QoL) over the duration of an ARI with cough (ARIwC) episode. We therefore aimed to determine cough-specific QoL and identify its influencing factors among children with ARIwC, at the time of presentation to a pediatric emergency department (ED), and over the following 4 weeks.

    Methods: Data from 283 children aged < 15 years were included in our analyses. We used the validated parent-proxy children’s acute cough-specific QoL questionnaire (PAC-QoL) at each time-point. Linear regression and mixed effect modeling were used to identify factors influencing QoL at baseline and over the follow-up period.

    Results: Median PAC-QoL at baseline was 2.7 (IQR 2.1–3.6) and significantly improved by Day-7 (4.9, IQR 3.8–6.1) and Day-14 (6.59, IQR 5.1–7.0), both p < 0.001. The improvements in median PAC-QoL between Days-14, -21, and -28 were not significant. Regression modeling identified that day-cough severity, night-cough severity, and financial concerns had the highest impact on both baseline, and follow-up, PAC-QoL scores. There were five additional independent significant factors at baseline and six at follow-up.

    Conclusions: Quality of life is considerably impaired at presentation to ED, but improves significantly by Days-7 and -14. As cough severity and financial concerns had the highest impact on QoL, effectively managing cough to reduce the clinical and financial burden on children and families is important.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)891-903
    Number of pages13
    JournalQuality of Life Research
    Issue number4
    Early online date2018
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018


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