To test the hypotheses that the burden of childhood asthma compromises psychological adaptation and that the degree of compromise increases with disease severity.
The Childhood Asthma Management Program (CAMP) is a multicenter randomized clinical trial initiated and funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
Study sites were located in Albuquerque, NM, Baltimore, Md, Boston, Mass, Denver, Colo, St Louis, Mo, San Diego, Calif, Seattle, Wash, and Toronto, Ontario.
A total of 1041 children aged 5 to 12 years were randomized to the trial after confirming their mild to moderate asthma.
Main Outcome Measures
Psychological questionnaires administered at baseline to parents and participants assessed anxiety, depression, behavioral competence, social support, and family functioning.
Psychological difficulty was not increased in this group of asthmatic children and their families. Psychological adaptation in the children was associated with the psychological adaptation of the family but not with disease-related variables. Scores from the Impact on Family Scale, a measure of family quality of life related to the child's illness, were associated more strongly with the overall psychological characteristics of the family and child and very little with disease characteristics or severity.
Mild to moderate asthma has imposed modest effects on the daily life but not the psychological health of this group of children. Variation in the psychological characteristics of these children was, as is the case for most children, traceable to the overall psychological adaptation of their families.