CLAHRC research reveals poor asthma control and knowledge common among London schoolchildren

Newly published CLAHRC research has revealed that nearly half of secondary school pupils living with asthma have sub-optimal control of their condition and gaps in knowledge around symptoms, triggers and treatments.

The findings, published in the Journal of Asthma,  emerged from the results of nearly 800 pupils from across London schools completing questionnaires incorporating the asthma control test (ACT) – a validated tool for assessing control in asthmatic children aged 12 years and older. Using the ACT, we sought to assess asthma control and knowledge in London secondary school children.

Results showed a high prevalence of poor asthma control, poor asthma knowledge, and a high morbidity in London children with asthma.

799 children with doctor-diagnosed asthma completed the questionnaire;

  • suboptimal asthma control was reported by 49.6% of students
  • over a third (42.4%) prescribed a short-acting β2-agonist inhaler felt uncomfortable using it at school, and 29.2% reported not using this inhaler when wheezy
  • 56.4% of those with regular inhaled corticosteroids did not take them as prescribed, and 41.7% did not know what this inhaler was for.
  • suboptimal control was associated with a greater proportion of students reporting that they were “somewhat”, “hardly” or “not at all” comfortable using inhalers at school (52.7% vs 29.1 %) and outside school (22.8% vs. 14.8%)

Since suboptimal control by ACT is a risk factor for future severe exacerbations, and should prompt more intense clinical monitoring, our results suggest a need for interventions aimed at addressing poor asthma control in UK schoolchildren.

Read the full paper below

Asthma control in London secondary school children

Katherine Harris , MSc, Gioia Mosler Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK , PhD, Samson A. Williams , BSc, Abigail Whitehouse , MBChB, Rosalind Raine , MBBS, PhD & Jonathan Grigg , MD

Journal of Asthma

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02770903.2017.1299757

Introduction to Economic Evaluation Workshop

On 22 March, the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames Academy held its first face-to-face course of 2017, with a workshop on Economic Evaluation held by Professor Stephen Morris, Dr Elena Pizzo, Dr Estela Capelas Barbosa, Nishma Patel and Nicholas Swart, all from UCL.

The workshop was oversubscribed, and on the day, we had 28 participants with specialists from a wide range of organisations including GPs, hospitals, public health departments, and Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Throughout the day, the tutors guided the delegates through the essential aspects of designing an economic evaluation of a health service or intervention. Session topics included measuring costs, measuring outcomes and measuring cost-effectiveness, with practical exercises to supplement the theory.

 

Tutors (from left to right): Estela Capelas Barbosa, Elena Pizzo, Stephen Morris and Nick Swart

In the afternoon, delegates discussed in groups the economic evaluations they are planning to carry out, and had the opportunity to share ideas with colleagues from across different sectors and organisations. The wealth and range of experience in the room led to many interesting in-depth discussions, and shed light on a variety of issues and perspectives.

Many thanks to all the delegates who attended!

 

Very comprehensive course and very high level of subject knowledge in the teaching team

Excellent coverage and pace. Assumes a capable audience and provides a stimulating day.”

Really helpful introduction to concepts and will really help with own project

We were really pleased to receive positive feedback from participants, and are in the process of planning the next Introduction to Economic Evaluation workshop to be held on 8 November 2017 – details coming soon. Visit our Academy page to find out more about us and our other upcoming workshops.

To find out about future Academy courses visit our website or email clahrc.norththames@ucl.ac.uk to join our mailing list.

Bringing patient and public perspectives to research partnerships

The CLAHRC bought some patient and public perspective to a recent academic event on collaboration in research.
We were invited to the prestigious UCL Qualitative Health Research Symposium which this year focused on effective partnerships in research under the title Engagement, Co-production, and Collaborative Meaning-Making: Collaboration in Qualitative Health Research.

As well as cooperation between researchers from disciplines patients and the public are a vital partner in successful research.

Our Patient and Public Involvement Officer Steven Towndrow was joined at the event by one of our lay Research Advisory Panel Joan.

Both were invited to take part in a panel discussion at the end of the day (see below).


As well as panellists offering reflections on the event involving patients and the public in research, and how to recognise and reward their contribution, was clearly a “hot topic” for the audience of researchers.

Our thanks to Panel member Joan for giving of her time on the day – and for her thoughtful observations –

See the presentation and poster abstracts from the event

Read the story of the day in tweets