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

Anderson-James, Sophie, Newcombe, Peter A., Marchant, Julie M., O'Grady, Kerry-Ann F., Acworth, Jason P., Stone, Grant D., Turner, Catherine T., & Chang, Anne B. (2015) An acute cough-specific quality of life questionnaire for children: Development and validation. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135(5), pp. 1179-1185.

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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.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
2 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 79278
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: acute cough, quality of life, instrument, validation
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2014.08.036
ISSN: 1097-6825
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PAEDIATRICS AND REPRODUCTIVE MEDICINE (111400)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Deposited On: 07 Dec 2014 23:24
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 11:01

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