Date of Award

2010

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

Over the last two decades the number of children and adolescents who are overweight has more than doubled. Currently, an estimated 18 percent of children and adolescents ages 6-19 years are overweight. Following this trend in childhood overweight, there has been an alarming increase in the number of children with asthma who are overweight. The increasing trend in both asthma and overweight has led to the suggestion of a causal relationship between the two. Childhood overweight has been found to have a profound negative impact on quality of life (QOL), yet there is a dearth of research regarding the impact the co-morbidities of overweight and asthma have on the QOL of children. The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in quality of life and health outcomes of overweight children with asthma compared to non-overweight children with asthma using a descriptive comparative survey design. The sample consists of 9 to 14 year olds recruited from a large urban asthma clinic. The sample was divided into two groups, overweight and non-overweight. Along with quality of life, the health outcomes examined include missed number of school days, emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, number of days wheezing, number of night wakings and spirometry values. QOL was measured using the Pediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (PAQLQ). The obese group reported the highest percentage of ED visits, hospitalizations, and number of days wheezing compared to the normal weight group. Only the ED visit trend was found to be statistically significant (p = 0.037). No statistical difference was found in QOL scores between the two groups. The conclusion and implication of these results point to the need for further research regarding the impact obesity plays in the lives of children and better management of asthma symptoms in overweight children which can influence hospitalization rates and use of the ED.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Included in

Nursing Commons

Share

COinS