Article

Influenza vaccination in asthmatic children: Effects on quality of life and symptoms

Dept of General Practice, room Ff305, Erasmus MC - University Medical Center Rotterdam, PO Box, 1738, The Netherlands.
European Respiratory Journal (Impact Factor: 7.64). 01/2005; 24(6):925-31. DOI: 10.1183/09031936.04.00060504
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to detect the effect of influenza vaccination on quality of life, symptomatology and spirometry in asthmatic children. A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial in 696 (296 in 1999-2000 and 400 in 2000-2001) asthmatic children aged 6-18 yrs, which were vaccinated with either vaccine or placebo, was performed. Children participated for only one influenza season. They recorded symptoms in a diary and reported when symptom scores reached a predefined severity level. If this occurred research nurses visited them twice, first to take a pharyngeal swab and spirometry, and a week later to assess quality of life over the past illness week. Compared with placebo, vaccination improved health-related quality of life in the weeks of illness related to influenza-positive swabs. However, no effect was found for respiratory symptoms recorded in the diaries during those weeks. Similarly, no differences were found for quality of life in all weeks of illness or for respiratory symptoms throughout the seasons. Influenza vaccination was found to have a moderately beneficial effect on quality of life in influenza-positive weeks of illness in children with asthma.

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Available from: Johannes C Van der Wouden
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    • "That study (a prospective, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial) compared trivalent-inactivated vaccine with no vaccine. It assessed HRQoL in children with asthma through the Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (range of possible scores: 1-7, with 7 indicating the highest HRQoL) [49]. Both the vaccinated and the placebo groups experienced worsening of asthma-related HRQoL. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Influenza illness in children causes significant clinical and economic burden. Although some European countries have adopted influenza immunisation policies for healthy children, the debate about paediatric influenza vaccination in most countries of the European Union is ongoing. Our aim was to summarise influenza burden (in terms of health outcomes and economic burden) in children in Western Europe via a systematic literature review. Methods We conducted a systematic literature search of PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library (1970-April 2011) and extracted data on influenza burden in children (defined as aged ≤ 18 years) from 50 publications (13 reporting laboratory-confirmed influenza; 37 reporting influenza-like illness). Results Children with laboratory-confirmed influenza experienced hospitalisations (0.3%-20%), medical visits (1.7-2.8 visits per case), antibiotic prescriptions (7%-55%), and antipyretic or other medications for symptomatic relief (76%-99%); young children and those with severe illness had the highest rates of health care use. Influenza in children also led to absenteeism from day care, school, or work for the children, their siblings, and their parents. Average (mean or median) length of absence from school or day care associated with confirmed influenza ranged from 2.8 to 12.0 days for the children, from 1.3 to 6.0 days for their siblings, and from 1.3 to 6.3 days for their parents. Influenza negatively affected health-related quality of life in children with asthma, including symptoms and activities; this negative effect was smaller in vaccinated children than in non-vaccinated children. Conclusions Influenza burden in children is substantial and has a significant direct impact on the ill children and an indirect impact on their siblings and parents. The identified evidence regarding the burden of influenza may help inform both influenza antiviral use in children and paediatric immunisation policies in European countries.
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