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Reliability and benefit of diagnostic procedure for asthma in young children is unclear
Date:8/20/2009

This release is available in German.

The Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has investigated the reliability of diagnosing bronchial asthma in children aged between 2 and 5 years, and the benefit that the test results can have for these patients. IQWiG published its final report in August 2009. According to the report, the available studies do not reveal any diagnostic procedure to be particularly suitable. It also remains unclear whether the treatment given based on the test results can benefit the patients.

The Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) commissioned the Institute to carry out the research. Using IQWiG expertise, the committee seeks an answer to the question whether the existing DMP should be extended to children of preschool age. Until now, it has only been possible to enrol children from the age of 5 upwards on a DMP.

Diagnosis must be certain

Bronchial asthma frequently starts in early childhood, but it is very difficult to diagnose in this age group. Moreover, young children are often free of symptoms by the time they reach school age. On the one hand, the screening should ensure no asthma cases are overlooked, so that appropriate treatment can be given in good time. On the other hand, children that do not actually suffer from chronic asthma should not receive unnecessary treatment and thus be exposed to potential harm. The certainty of the diagnosis is therefore of particular importance.

In the first report already completed, IQWiG investigated whether a reference standard could be derived from clinical practice guidelines, against which the diagnostic reliability of individual methods could be measured. The current optimum and most reliable method for diagnosing or excluding a disease is taken as a reference standard. As this type of test could not be identified, the Institute t
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Contact: Dr. Anna-Sabine Ernst
info@iqwig.de
49-022-135-6850
Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care
Source:Eurekalert

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