Quantifying asthma symptoms in adults: The Lara Asthma Symptom Scale

Pamela Runge Wood, Brad Smith, Louise O'Donnell, Autumn Dawn Galbreath, Marielena Lara, Emma Forkner, Jay I. Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Accurate assessment of asthma symptoms is critical in research and clinical settings. A multidimensional asthma control questionnaire could provide more accurate information about asthma symptoms than global assessments, which often overestimate asthma control. Objective: We sought to evaluate the efficacy of the Lara Asthma Symptom Scale (LASS) in adults with persistent asthma. Methods: Participants were 18 to 64 years of age with persistent asthma. Data were collected at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months. We described the construct and predictive validity of the LASS by comparing it with measures of pulmonary function (FEV1), asthma-specific quality of life (Juniper's Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire [AQLQ]), and health care use (emergency department [ED] visits and hospitalizations). Results: Three hundred eighty-three participants provided baseline data. The LASS had high internal consistency reliability (Cronbach α = .84). LASS scores correlated significantly with baseline measures of FEV1 (-0.20, P = .0002), AQLQ (-0.68, P < .0001), ED visits (0.17, P = .002), and hospitalizations (0.15, P = .008). Baseline LASS scores were associated significantly with ED visits (P = .03) and hospitalizations (P = .04) over the subsequent 12 months. Change in LASS scores over time correlated significantly with changes in FEV1 (-0.22, P = .001) and AQLQ (-0.70, P < .001). Conclusions: The LASS demonstrated good internal consistency, excellent validity based on concurrent criterion validity and longitudinal predictive validity, and good discriminatory properties in a heterogeneous sample of adults with persistent asthma. Clinical implications: This study validates a simple multidimensional asthma questionnaire as a clinical tool in the assessment of asthma control in adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1372
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Health status indicators
  • Hispanic Americans
  • asthma
  • asthma symptoms
  • outcome assessment
  • psychometrics
  • quality of life
  • questionnaire
  • severity of illness index

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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