Use of health related quality of life in clinical trials for severe asthma: a systematic review
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BACKGROUND: Asthma Health Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) is an outcome important to patients with severe asthma and can provide clinicians with additional insight into the benefits of treatment. The aim of this systematic review is to examine the use and reporting of HRQoL questionnaires within randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of biologics, fevipiprant and bronchial thermoplasty. METHODS: We followed the guidelines on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. Of the 2380 retrieved articles, 52 studies were identified for inclusion. RESULTS: Sixty-three percent included an asthma HRQoL questionnaire. It was a secondary outcome in the majority of cases (73%). The proportion of studies including an asthma HRQoL questionnaire did not change significantly over a 20-year period. While the Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) was used in 45% of studies, 55% used a variety of 4 questionnaires. Most (70%) of the studies that included a HRQoL questionnaire did not report its subscale scores. Approximately half (52%) of studies that used HRQoL reported this in the abstract of the paper. A higher proportion of studies used an asthma control questionnaire compared to a HRQoL questionnaire (71% vs 63%). CONCLUSION: In order to increase the use of asthma HRQoL questionnaires in RCTs of severe asthma treatments, the drivers and barriers to their use must first be understood. At present, the patients' perspective is underrepresented in RCTs of biologics, fevipiprant and bronchial thermoplasty for severe asthma.
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