Problems of measuring asthma prevalence
Article first published online: 18 FEB 2008
Volume 1, Issue 3, pages 183–188, September 1996
How to Cite
KEMP, T., PEARCE, N., CRANE, J. and BEASLEY, R. (1996), Problems of measuring asthma prevalence. Respirology, 1: 183–188. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1843.1996.tb00030.x
- Issue published online: 18 FEB 2008
- Article first published online: 18 FEB 2008
- Accepted for publication 20 December 1995.
- bronchial hyperreactivity;
Abstract This review considers the issues involved in measuring the community prevalence of asthma, particularly in the context of international comparisons. We argue that there is no gold standard definition for measuring asthma prevalence, and discuss the currently available methods of case ascertainment. Prevalence studies, if they are to be generalizable, need to involve large sample sizes with high response rates. This necessitates methods that are simple, inexpensive and practicable, but also as sensitive and specific for asthma as possible. We discuss some of the issues that are specific to comparisons of asthma prevalence between diverse populations, and suggest that large surveys using written or video questionnaires of self reported symptoms validated in all of the target populations are the method of choice.