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

Leading the campaign against pollution caused by diesel engines

The Doctors Against Diesel campaign that was launched in December 2016 and has already received widespread media coverage with ongoing interest from the health community, local government and media. The campaign is led by health professionals and is calling for the use of diesel fuels to be banned in urban areas and progressively phased out elsewhere. On February 22nd the CLAHRC’s Professor Jonathan Grigg led a workshop of nurses, doctors and allied health professionals to formulate health messaging and decide next steps in the campaign to reduce diesel use.

Child Health Theme Lead Professor Jonathan Grigg is a prominent member of the campaign group and co-author of the Royal Colleges Report Every Breath We Take. Professor Grigg is a practising paediatrician with experitse in respiratory health, seeing first hand how pollution damages young and developing lungs. He also leads our School Asthma project which aims to improve management of the condition among children and young people.

Diesel engines are the single biggest source of nitrogen dioxide, which accounts for the vast majority of breaches of legal air pollution limits in the UK. Exposure to pollution can impact children and young people’s current and future health as strong evidence suggest it impairs lung growth in children.

 

 

 

 

Making the Jump….to improved asthma management

Our Asthma Schools project is investigating asthma control among young people in schools and developing interventions to help them manage the condition better.

The project worked with Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre (GLYPT) to produce a short film – Behind the Jump – about the importance of asthma awareness among young people. It carries an important message for all young people living with the condition.

The film was shot at the LEAP Parkour Park in Westminster, London.

 

Prof Jonathan Grigg

Professor Jonathan Grigg is one of the UK’s top paediatricians and an international leader in paediatric respiratory research. Since 2003, he has obtained over £11M in research grants as PI and co-applicant from MRC, NIHR, DH and charities. These funds supported air pollution and asthma research with national and international impact. He is the lead paediatrician for government advice on air pollution and children’s health as a member of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, and provides ad hoc advice on respiratory toxicity to the Committee on Carcinogens. He co-chairs the Royal College of Physicians Committee into “air pollution throughout the life course”. In leading the national paediatric research agenda, he organises all paediatric input into British Thoracic Society’s meetings, and as elected secretary to the Royal College Paediatrics and Child Health’s Academic Board, organises its Annual Meeting. He develops national research priorities in paediatric respiratory medicine as Chair of the British Paediatric Respiratory Society, ex chair and, now member, of the Clinical Study Group (Respiratory) for the Medicines for Children network, NIHR Programme Grant Experts Panel. He leads on paediatric respiratory infection and immunology as elected chair of this group in the European Respiratory Society. Nationally, he evaluates the cost effectiveness of therapies, as the paediatric lead of NICE Appraisal Panel A, and is an RCPCH-appointed expert adviser on asthma therapies to other appraisal panels. Locally, he leads on paediatric non-medicines research in NE London as regional LCRN representative to the national committee, and supports academic training as the RCPCH regional academic advisor.

Prof Stephen Stansfeld

Prof. Stephen Stansfeld is Professor of Psychiatry at QMUL. His research involves longitudinal studies of risk and protective factors for mental health in adolescence, life course studies of social and environmental risk factors and intervention studies on work and mental health. He is Co-Principal Investigator of ORiEL Study, a NIHR-funded cluster randomised trial of the impact of the regeneration surrounding the Olympics on children’s wellbeing and physical activity.

Prof Steph Taylor

Stephanie Taylor is Professor in Public Health and Primary Care. Her research interests include complex interventions, chronic disease management and the self management of chronic conditions.

She has led a number of systematic reviews of quantitative research evidence and is currently involved in a number of clinical trials of complex interventions in the community. She is principal investigator on an NIHR programme grant looking at a novel self management intervention for chronic musculoskeletal pain (COPERS), and co investigator on a large study of the effect of promoting physical activity on depression amongst residents in residential and nursing homes (OPERA).

Stephanie sits on the NICE Public Health Interventions Advisory Committee. She is an expert advisor on self care of non-communicable diseases to the World Health Organisation.

Prof Myra Bluebond-Langner

Myra Bluebond-Langner is Professor and True Colours Chair in Palliative Care for Children and Young People at University College London, Institute of Child Health. In this capacity she also heads the Louis Dundas Centre for Children’s Palliative Care – an academic and clinical partnership involving the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children. She is also Board of Governors’ Professor of Anthropology and founder and former director of the Rutgers University Center for Children and Childhood Studies.

Dr Jessica Deighton

Dr Jess Deighton is Lecturer in School-Based Mental Health Research, Evaluation, and Evidence-Based Research at UCL and Head of Resilience Research and Evaluation at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

Her research has three core components: 1) the measurement of mental health well-being – in particular developing and validating tools for measurement of mental health in children; 2) the evaluation of interventions and multifaceted programmes to support mental health and well-being in children, primarily in educational settings; 3) the interplay between mental health, physical health and educational outcomes.

She leads the national evaluation of BIG Lottery’s HeadStart programme and is also a senior researcher for the North Thames CLAHRC and the Department of Health Child Policy Research Unit. Her recent work also includes the development of guidance materials for schools and colleges around the measurement of mental health and well-being, and the development and evaluation of schools based resources to improve mental Health.