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Screening for Occupational Asthma by Using a Self-Administered Questionnaire in a Clinical Setting

Pralong, Jacques A. MD, MSc; Moullec, Gregory PhD; Suarthana, Eva MD, PhD; Gérin, Michel PhD; Gautrin, Denyse PhD; Archevêque, Jocelyne L'; Labrecque, Manon MD, MSc

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: May 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 5 - p 527–531
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182851790
Original Articles

Objective: Because of its high prevalence, early screening for occupational asthma (OA) is crucial. We aimed to evaluate the screening performance of the Occupational Asthma Screening Questionnaire–11 items (OASQ-11) in a clinical setting.

Methods: Between January 2009 and December 2011, 169 workers referred for potential OA to our hospital completed the OASQ-11 and underwent workups to determine the final diagnosis. The discriminative abilities of the OASQ-11 as a whole and in relation to demographic and exposure parameters were determined by the area under the receiving operator characteristic curve (AUC).

Results: Model 1, consisting of the OASQ's items, showed fair discrimination (AUC, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.58 to 0.80). Addition of age and exposure duration to model 1 improved discrimination (AUC, 0.80; confidence interval, 0.72 to 0.88).

Conclusion: A simple model consisting of the OASQ-11's items, age, and exposure duration could well discriminate subjects with OA in a clinical setting.

From the Research Center (Drs Pralong, Moullec, Suarthana, Gautrin, L' Archevêque, and Labrecque), Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health (Dr Gérin), Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Institute for Work and Health (Dr Pralong), University of Lausanne and Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Address correspondence to: Jacques A. Pralong, MD, MSc, Institute for Work and Health, University of Lausanne and Geneva, Rue du Bugnon 21, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland (Jacques.Pralong@chuv.ch).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine