In August 2014 I finished a PhD with Imperial College, MRC-PHE centre for environment and health, focusing on the effects of personal air pollution. Apart from a background in science, I always had an interest in communicating scientific knowledge. During my PhD I therefore volunteered within science and museum communications for the Medical Research Council, London Science Museum, Medway Science Centre and Victoria and Albert Museum of Childhood. I joined the NIHR CLAHRC funded School-based Asthma Project (SAP) in September 2014, for which I am responsible for Outreach and Learning. My role includes recruitment and liaison with currently 50 different partner organisations, of which 24 are schools, others are research organisations, health organisations, and a variety of private companies. In the first year of the project I organised questionnaire sessions in our partner schools with altogether 799 asthmatic secondary school students. A current focus of my work is the content development and testing of workshops and their educational elements, planned as part of a school-based asthma self-management intervention. One element of the planned workshops is an asthma game for which the final development and wider dissemination (both for a board game and a computer game version) are planned for 2016.
Our school asthma project is working with parents teachers and pupils from schools across to improve the ways in which schools can support young people with asthma.
The CLAHRC is working with young people to develop a suite of resources to encourage open discussion of the condition and improve understanding among peers.
This includes a school-based self-management intervention consisting of educational board and computer game which improves knowledge of triggers and inhalers, as well as encouraging discussion of asthma between pupils .
Our asthma board game (below) has gone down well with young people
As well as we have taken the game on tour at various events and open days where it has proved a hit –