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INTRODUCTION: Despite bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) being a common morbidity of preterm birth, there is no validated objective tool to assess outpatient respiratory symptom control for clinical and research purposes.
METHODS: Data were obtained from 1049 preterm infants and children seen in outpatient BPD clinics of 13 US tertiary care centers from 2018 to 2022. A new standardized instrument was modified from an asthma control test questionnaire and administered at the time of clinic visits. External measures of acute care use were also collected. The questionnaire for BPD control was validated in the entire population and selected subgroups using standard methodology for internal reliability, construct validity, and discriminative properties.
RESULTS: Based on the scores from BPD control questionnaire, the majority of caregivers (86.2%) felt their child's symptoms were under control, which did not differ by BPD severity (p = 0.30) or a history of pulmonary hypertension (p = 0.42). Across the entire population and selected subgroups, the BPD control questionnaire was internally reliable, suggestive of construct validity (albeit correlation coefficients were -0.2 to -0.4.), and discriminated control well. Control categories (controlled, partially controlled, and uncontrolled) were also predictive of sick visits, emergency department visits, and hospital readmissions.
CONCLUSION: Our study provides a tool for assessing respiratory control in children with BPD for clinical care and research studies. Further work is needed to identify modifiable predictors of disease control and link scores from the BPD control questionnaire to other measures of respiratory health such as lung function testing.