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Survey of respiratory sounds in infants

By H.E. Elphick, P. Sherlock, G. Foxall, E.J. Simpson, N.A. Shiell, R.A. Primhak and M.L. Everard


Background: Over the last decade there\ud has been an apparent increase in childhood\ud wheeze. We speculated that much of\ud the reported increase may be attributed to\ud the term wheeze being adopted by parents\ud to describe a variety of other forms of\ud noisy breathing.\ud \ud \ud Aims: To investigate terminology used by\ud parents to describe their children’s breath\ud sounds.\ud \ud \ud Methods: An interview was carried out\ud with the parents of 92 infants with noisy\ud breathing, beginning with an open question\ud and then directed towards a more\ud detailed description. Finally, the parents\ud were asked to choose from a wheeze,\ud ruttle, and stridor on imitation by the\ud investigator and video clips of children.\ud \ud \ud Results: Wheeze was the most commonly\ud chosen word on initial questioning (59%).\ud Only 36% were still using this term at the\ud end of the interview, representing a decrease\ud of one third, whereas the use of the\ud word ruttles doubled.\ud \ud \ud Conclusions: Our results reflect the degree\ud of inaccuracy involved in the use of\ud the term wheeze in clinical practice,\ud which may be leading to over diagnosis.\ud Imprecise use of this term has potentially\ud important implications for therapy and\ud clinical trials

Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.whiterose.ac.uk:552

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