Indicator 8. Impact of asthma on quality of life

Description: Data relating to this indicator are available from some measures relevant to quality of life. These include perceived health status, levels of psychological distress, interference of asthma with daily activities, and insufficient physical activity.

Asthma has varying degrees of impact on the physical, psychological and social wellbeing of people living with the condition. People with asthma are more likely to report a poor quality of life. This is more pronounced among people with severe or poorly controlled asthma (ACAM 2011; ACAM 2004).

The interactive visualisations on this page show data for the following indicators, which taken together can be used to show insights on the impact of asthma on quality of life:

  • Perceived health status
    Description: Self-assessed health status of people aged 15 and over with and without asthma
  • High/ very high levels of psychological distress
    Description: Proportion of people aged 18 and over with and without asthma with high/ very high levels of
    psychological distress
  • Interference of asthma on daily activities
    Description: Number of times asthma interfered with daily activities in the last 4 weeks
  • Insufficient physical activity
    Description: Proportion of people aged 18 and over with and without asthma who are insufficiently physically active.

Key findings

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2017–18 National Health Survey (NHS):

  • Perceived health status
    People with asthma aged 15 and over were less likely to consider themselves to be in excellent health (11% compared with 23%), and more likely to consider themselves to be in fair (16% compared with 10%) or poor (7.3% compared with 3.0%) health compared with people without asthma.
  • High/ very high levels of psychological distress
    25% of people with asthma aged 18 and over experienced high to very high levels of psychological distress in the last 4 weeks, which was 2.1 times as high as people without asthma (12%).
  • Interference with daily activities
    For 23% of people with asthma, asthma interfered with daily activities 2 or more times in the past 4 weeks, and once for 5.7% of people (including going to school, playing with friends, going to work, exercising, and getting around places). 
  • Insufficient physical activity
    Overall, people with asthma (aged 18 and over) were slightly more likely to be insufficiently physically active compared with people without asthma (57% and 54%, respectively).  
Visualisation not available for printing
Visualisation not available for printing

References

ACAM (Australian Centre for Asthma Monitoring) 2011. Asthma in Australia 2011: with a focus chapter on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Asthma series no. 4. Cat. no. ACM 22. Canberra: AIHW.

ACAM 2004. Measuring the impact of asthma on quality of life in the Australian population. Cat. no. ACM 3. Canberra: AIHW.