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Parents’ accounts of their children’s respiratory symptoms showed a range of interpretations

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QUESTION: How do parents recognise and make judgements about respiratory signs and symptoms in their young children?


Qualitative study using semistructured interviews.


Leicester, UK.


Parents of 19 children who were 1–6 years of age (eleven 1–3 y, eight 4–5 y; 12 boys) and were recruited from the cohort that had completed the Child Cohort Respiratory Symptoms Survey or attended one general practice in Leicester. The sample included parents who had never reported wheeze in their children and parents who had reported it, and also included families across a spectrum of social and cultural status. Interviews were done in the families’ homes with the father alone (n=2), the mother alone (n=14), and the mother and father (n=3).


The interviews were guided by a prompt list, audiotaped, and transcribed verbatim. Interview …

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  • For correspondence: Dr B Young, Department of Psychology, University of Hull, Hull, UK. B.Young{at}

  • Source of funding: no external funding.