Standardization of reporting obstructive airway disease in children: A national Delphi process.

de Jong, Carmen CM; Ardura-Garcia, Cristina; Pedersen, Eva SL; Mallet, Maria Christina; Mueller-Suter, Dominik; Jochmann, Anja; Singer, Florian; Casaulta, Carmen Annemarie; Regamey, Nicolas; Moeller, Alexander; Goutaki, Myrofora; Kuehni, Claudia E (2022). Standardization of reporting obstructive airway disease in children: A national Delphi process. (In Press). Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice Elsevier 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.08.050

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Pediatric pulmonologists report asthma and obstructive bronchitis in medical records in a variety of ways and there is no consensus for standardized reporting.


We investigated which diagnostic labels and features pediatric pulmonologists use to describe obstructive airway disease in children and aimed to reach consensus for standardized reporting.


We obtained electronic health records from 562 children participating in the Swiss Pediatric Airway Cohort (SPAC) from 2017 to 2018. We reviewed the diagnosis section of the letters written by pediatric pulmonologists to referring physicians and extracted the terms used to describe the diagnosis. We grouped these terms into diagnostic labels (e.g., asthma) and features (e.g., triggers) using qualitative thematic framework analysis. We also assessed how frequently the different terms were used. Results were fed into a modified Delphi process to reach consensus on standardized reporting.


Pediatric pulmonologists used 123 different terms to describe the diagnosis, which we grouped into 6 diagnostic labels and 17 features. Consensus from the Delphi process resulted in the following recommendations: (i) to use the diagnostic label "asthma" for children older than 5 years and "obstructive bronchitis" or "suspected asthma" for children younger than 5 years; (ii) to accompany the diagnosis with relevant features: diagnostic certainty, triggers, symptom control, risk of exacerbation, atopy, treatment adherence, and symptom perception.


We found great heterogeneity in the reporting of obstructive airway disease among pediatric pulmonologists. The proposed standardized reporting will simplify communication among physicians and improve quality of research based on electronic health records.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

Graduate School:

Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS)

UniBE Contributor:

de Jong, Carmen Cornelia Maria; Ardura Garcia, Cristina; Pedersen, Eva Sophie Lunde; Mallet, Maria Christina; Goutaki, Myrofora and Kühni, Claudia


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services






[4] Swiss National Science Foundation ; [204] Swiss Lung Association = Lungenliga Schweiz




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

21 Sep 2022 10:19

Last Modified:

16 Oct 2022 00:18

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

asthma children clinical practice diagnosis diagnostic labels reporting standardization standardized reporting




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