The emotional and social effects associated
with childhood asthma are often underestimated. The
clinical presentation of childhood asthma, its
complications and sequalae may vary from child to child.
In addition, asthma being a chronic illness impacts on
patient and their families too. It is very important to
recognize the stresses and the burden experienced by
families of these children. Many asthma patients and
their families try to live as “normal” as possible by
adjusting to their restrictions or suppressing them.
Evidently, the chronicity of the childhood asthma with
its transient disability during repeated attacks can
adversely influences the child and the family.
Methods: The impact of the childhood asthma on the
child and the family were assessed using Children Health
Survey of Asthma (CHSA) questionnaire which was
validated in the local setting. The questionnaire was
administered to mothers of children aged 5 to 11 years
or the person who spent the maximum time with the
index child when the mother is not there to look after the
child. The study was conducted in the Colombo
Municipal Council area in the Colombo district. The
study population was the children agedbetween 5 to11
years who had asthma attack within two weeks prior to
data collection and their mothers and/ or the caregivers.
Results: Assessment of the impact of the childhood
asthma on the child and the family assessed using CHSA
questionnaire the severity of the disease was significantly
associated with mean scores of four of the five domains:
Physical health of the child(p<0.001) Emotional health of
the child (p<0.001), Emotional health of the
family(p<0.001) and the Activities of the child(p<0.001).
There was no association between severity of the disease
and the activity of the child mean score(p>0.001).
Conclusion: Higher scores for all given domains were
seen among the low symptom group children, means
better health. With the increase of age, score of the
physical health of the child is decreasing.
Keywords : Childhood asthma, emotional impact, physical impact.