Globally, allergic diseases are very common in childhood and may affect children’s quality of life. This study aimed to explore health-related quality of life of elementary school students with allergy symptoms using the EQ-5D-Y and to examine the validity and feasibility of the EQ-5D-Y.
The study subjects were the students within 50 elementary schools which voluntarily participated in research project. In this sample population, the EQ-5D-Y questionnaire was self-administered by the students, and demographic and health information were collected from the student’s parents. The parents’ information was used to investigate the proportion of students with allergic symptoms (wheezing, runny or blocked nose, and itchy rash) in the past 12 months. In addition, we analyzed the correlation of symptom reporting and EQ-5D-Y including EQ-VAS.
The overall return was 9117 responses, of which 198 (2.2%) lacked responses on the EQ-5D-Y dimension and 1258 (13.8%) on the VAS score. There were significant differences in symptom reporting in all EQ-5D-Y dimensions between groups with or without allergic symptoms. Particularly, there was a large difference in reporting rates in ‘having pain or discomfort’ and ‘feeling worried, sad or unhappy’ dimensions. As the number of allergic symptoms increased, in all dimensions also the problem reporting rate tended to increase.
As expected, the presence of allergic symptoms is inversely correlated with the quality of life of children. The EQ-5D-Y instrument proved to be useful in terms of feasibility and construct validity in assessing the quality of life of Korean elementary school students.