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Why are children with asthma bullied? A risk factor analysis
  1. Rebecca Charles1,
  2. Paul L P Brand2,
  3. Francis J Gilchrist1,3,
  4. Johannes Wildhaber4,
  5. Will Carroll1,3
  1. 1 Paediatric Respiratory Service, Staffordshire Children's Hospital at Royal Stoke, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  2. 2 Princess Amalia Children's Clinic, Isala Klinieken, Zwolle, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  4. 4 Paediatrics, Department of Community Health, University and Hospital Fribourg, Fribourg, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Will Carroll, Paediatric Respiratory Services, University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, Stoke-on-Trent, UK; will.carroll{at}


The links between bullying and asthma have not been explored in children. We wanted to determine the child/parent factors and attitudes associated with asthma-related bullying. Individual child/parent responses of children with asthma (N=943) from the Room to Breathe survey were analysed. 1 in 10 children reported asthma-related bullying/teasing (n=93). Children with well-controlled asthma were less likely to report being a victim of asthma-related bullying/teasing (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.23 to 0.84, p=0.006). Being a victim of bullying/teasing was more common in children reporting activity restriction (OR 1.74, 95% CI 1.11 to 2.75, p=0.010), who described their asthma as ‘bad’ (OR 3.02, 95% CI 1.86 to 4.85, p<0.001) and those whose parents reported ongoing asthma-related health worries (OR 1.64, 95% CI 1.04 to 2.58, p=0.024). Asthma consultations should incorporate specific questions about bullying and be child-focused in order to gain a representative appreciation of asthma control and its impact on the child’s life.

  • adolescent health
  • data collection
  • respiratory medicine

Data availability statement

Data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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Data availability statement

Data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.

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  • Contributors PLPB, WC and JW conducted the Room to Breathe study. WC, FJG and RC conceived the hypothesis-driven design of this study based on a review of the literature. RC and WC jointly undertook the data analysis. All authors contributed to the preparation of the final manuscript.

  • Funding The original study was funded by Nycomed (Zurich, Switzerland). Editorial control and questionnaire design remained with the study authors. No additional funding was requested for the conduct of this research.

  • Competing interests WC reports personal fees from GlaxoSmithKline, personal fees from Novartis and personal fees from Trudell Medical International, outside the submitted work.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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