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Survey of respiratory sounds in infants

Elphick, H.E., Sherlock, P., Foxall, G., Simpson, E.J., Shiell, N.A., Primhak, R.A. and Everard, M.L. (2001) Survey of respiratory sounds in infants. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 84 (1). pp. 35-39. ISSN 1468-2044


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Background: Over the last decade there has been an apparent increase in childhood wheeze. We speculated that much of the reported increase may be attributed to the term wheeze being adopted by parents to describe a variety of other forms of noisy breathing.

Aims: To investigate terminology used by parents to describe their children’s breath sounds.

Methods: An interview was carried out with the parents of 92 infants with noisy breathing, beginning with an open question and then directed towards a more detailed description. Finally, the parents were asked to choose from a wheeze, ruttle, and stridor on imitation by the investigator and video clips of children.

Results: Wheeze was the most commonly chosen word on initial questioning (59%). Only 36% were still using this term at the end of the interview, representing a decrease of one third, whereas the use of the word ruttles doubled.

Conclusions: Our results reflect the degree of inaccuracy involved in the use of the term wheeze in clinical practice, which may be leading to over diagnosis. Imprecise use of this term has potentially important implications for therapy and clinical trials.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Copyright © 2001 by Archives of Disease in Childhood
Keywords: respiratory sounds, wheeze
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Medicine (Sheffield) > Clinical Sciences Division South (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2005
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2014 03:31
Published Version: http://adc.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/84/1/3...
Status: Published
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1136/adc.84.1.35
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/552

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