The aim of the project ‘Early diagnosis of asthma and allergies among children attending primary schools in Wroclaw’ was to preselect the group of high risk of asthma/allergy development using a questionnaire and then to confirm the diagnosis at the physician’s office.
The study was carried out in the years 2011-2013 All children attending 3 grade at grammar schools (8-9 ys of age) (Wrocław, Poland) entered the study. Those with prior diagnosis of asthma ana allergy or being under allergists care were excluded. During the first part all parents were educated on the allergy symptoms and prevention. They were given a specially prepared screening questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions concerning family history, early exposure of their children to different allergens etc., children’s medical history: infections, symptoms (cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, rash), hospitalizations etc. During the second part all children who scored above a fixed level in the questionnaire were subjected to allergist’s check-up (including prick-tests and spirometry) to confirm or deny the possible diagnosis of asthma or allergy.
The study in its first part involved 2,690 children. After the analysis of the questionnaires 375 children visited the study allergist. In 29% of them the diagnosis of asthma or allergies was confirmed. Especially early symptoms and selected allergen exposures correlated well with the final diagnosis (p < 0.05 was noted between exposure to moisture, mold and diagnosed in a child: of asthma: Phi = 0.093; p = 0,00; of allergic rhinitis: Phi = 0.114 ; p = 0,00; of atopic dermatitis: Phi = 0.052; p = 0.007; food allergy Phi = 0.048 ; p = 0.012).
The questionnaire proved to be a fast, cheap and reliable tool in allergy detection. It has been introduced in Wrocław,s schools for standard use.