European Respiratory Journal vol:13 issue:4 pages:751-756
The hypothesis that symptom-reporting in asthmatics does not necessarily correspond with clinical status, but is related to negative affectivity was investigated. One hundred and sixteen asthmatic patients filled out the Asthma Symptom Checklist (ASC), the Negative Emotionality Scale (NEM), and the McMaster-Asthma Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (AQLQ). The patients were grouped as either hospitalized, outpatient previously hospitalized or outpatient not previously hospitalized for asthma. Lung function data and Asthma Severity Scores (ASS) were also collected. The hospitalized group was retested after 3 months. The hospitalized group had lower AQLQ scores, higher ASS scores and worse lung function than both outpatient groups. However, the hospitalized group and the outpatients previously hospitalized group had higher ASC scores and NEM scores than the outpatients not previously hospitalized group. After discharge, when the hospitalized group had become clinically stable, their ASC and NEM scores remained comparable to those of the outpatient previously hospitalized group. Symptom-reporting in asthmatics is not necessarily in accordance with clinical status, but may be directly or indirectly mediated by personality, such as negative affectivity.