Preventer inhalers (inhaled corticosteroids) are a common medication for asthma, and people get the full benefit of the medication by taking their prescribed doses correctly. We know many patients struggle to take enough doses effectvely, which impacts their ability to manage the condition.
Could pharmacists hold the key to helping patients take medicines effectively and in the right doses?
Our latest BITE – a postcard “need to know” summary of our research – presents the findings of our review of the evidence on whether pharmacists involved in asthma care could help people take their preventer inhaler as prescribed, therefore giving them the full benefit of their medication.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has launched a programme to improve the self-management of asthma by school children in the Capital. My Asthma in School was developed by CLAHRC researchers based at the Blizard Institute within Queen Mary University of London.
The programme uses educational workshops and theatre performance to improve asthma control and peer support for asthma in London secondary school.
Asthma affects approximately one in 11 children and young people in the UK; and young people with asthma have higher rates of school absences and visits to their doctor or the hospital. According to the data collected for the study, nearly half of young people (aged 11-18 years) with asthma did not have control over their condition.
Dr Gioia Mosler, Outreach and Learning Manager for the ‘My asthma in school project’, said:
“The number of deaths from asthma in the UK rank among the highest in the EU. Many of these deaths could be prevented with better self-management.”
She added: “Improving the ability and motivation to self-manage asthma gives many young asthma sufferers the opportunity to improve their asthma control. As a result they would suffer less from common symptoms like coughing at night or breathlessness.”
My asthma in School is one of the first school-based interventions for asthma self-management in the UK. Similar trials have been undertaken outside the UK, however, given that the health and education systems differ, results from these interventions may not be transferable to a UK setting.
The programme has been approved and supported by Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London. Mayor Khan was himself diagnosed with the conditon as an adult – which he attributes to London’s poor air quality and pollution levels.
He said: “The Greater London Authority and I believe that the ‘My Asthma in School’ programme is likely to promote the necessary education young people require to effectively self-manage their asthma.”
He added: “I encourage all London secondary schools to take part in this programme.”
Using behavioural change theories as a framework, researchers have developed a variety of engaging and entertaining media, such as apps, videos, and interactive games.
The intervention includes an interactive theatre performance (below), lasting approximately two hours, to help raise awareness of asthma among peers. The performance has been developed with partners at Greenwich and Lewisham Young People’s Theatre.
Dr Mosler added: “The theatre intervention addresses asthma from a new angle, focusing on peer awareness and support around young people with asthma. The questionnaire data we collected during phase one showed many barriers related to a perceived stigma around asthma. The theatre intervention addresses stigma around asthma in the peer group.”
The intervention will be trialled in London during the next few months. Given a positive result of this intervention it could be adopted as a wider programme to improve asthma in young people.
The programme is run as part of the My Health in School initiative which aims to improve life and health of young people at school. The team works with Professor Jonathan Grigg, who leads several studies about asthma and lung health in children and young people.
Do you need to demonstrate the impact of projects in your organisation?
Do you want to improve the design and implementation of your programme?
Are you tasked with carrying out an evaluation, but don’t know where to start?
This one day, hands-on workshop, run by the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames Academy, addresses these challenges. It is aimed at staff from NHS Trusts, CCGs and Local Authorities, who have limited experience of conducting service evaluations.
After attending this workshop, you will have the skills and knowledge to undertake your own evaluation of a local programme or service.
The course covers:
Different types of evaluation, including their pro and cons
How to select suitable methods and approaches for evaluating a local programme or service
Practical skills and tips in using evaluation methods and approaches
Ways of sharing your evaluation findings to make an impact
This workshop is suitable for staff from NHS Trusts, Local Authorities and CCGs. It is not aimed at academics and/or researchers. Participants should attend the course with an evaluation in mind that they may need to carry out. No previous experience of study design, statistics or evaluation is needed.
All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.
Cost – This course is free for staff working in NIHR CLAHRC North Thames partner or organisations (please click here to see a list of our partners). There is a delegate fee of £250 for other attendees.
Early career researchers (ECRs) face many challenges as they set out on their journey into health and social care research, and must prepare to face an increasingly competitive academic environment in which to pursue their interests and passions.
As part of their programme of support the three London CLAHRCs (Northwest London, North Thames and South London) have come together to deliver a career development conference for early career researchers across the whole CLAHRC community on 4th October at Senate House London.
The one-day conference, delivered in conjunction with the NIHR Trainees Coordinating Centre, will be a mix of plenary sessions, skills workshops, delegate presentations and careers clinics. It’s a great opportunity for ECRs to connect and learn about further career development.
As well as senior researchers from across the capital we’re delighted to welcome key note speakers Dr Louise Wood, Director of Science, Research & Evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care (below left) and Professor Dave Jones, NIHR Dean of Faculty Trainees. Both will share knowledge and guidance arising from their roles in creating the next generation of health researchers
Are you a nurse, allied health professional, public health or local government member of staff who is interested in research or who has had some exposure to research? Our workshop is suitable for staff from NHS Trusts, NHS CCGs, and Local Authorities who are keen to become involved in research.
Engaging in research is a great way to address the questions that often arise in health care. It can also play a vital role in producing new evidence and new knowlegde for decision-making to improve health care.
This introductory level course is a first step on the journey towards becoming “research active”, either by developing your own small project or getting involved in other ways e.g. collaborating on research studies, assisting clients / patients in your care to take part in research, being a (critical) research ‘consumer’ or helping to shape research priorities, design and delivery. We ask that participants attend the workshop with a research idea, innovation, or change that they would like to plan for, or collaborate on with researchers.
By the end of the course participants will:
Understand the research process, including the principles behind good research design and planning for dissemination and impact
Understand the different roles within a research team and identify the points at which you can become involved
Be able to apply criteria to judge the potential value and feasibility of a research project idea
Have a basic understanding of research governance and ethics requirements, and know where to find out more
Know how to involve patients and the public in every stage of research, and understand how it could benefit the research
Know how to access relevant resources or the help available across North Thames to design, plan and fund research
This workshop is not aimed at academics and/or researchers.
*e.g. you might have done a Masters level module in collecting and analysing data, or critical appraisal of research, or have helped to support research in your organisation or attended another one of our Academy courses.
All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.
Cost – This course is free for staff working in NIHR CLAHRC North Thames partner organisations (a list of our partners is available on our website). There is a delegate fee of £250 for other attendees.
Congratulations were in order for CLAHRC researcher Meredith Hawking after her poster won a prize at the 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care at the Barbican Centre, London.
The prestigious SAPC event brings together researchers and educators from the primary care community in the UK and around the world to showcase their latest studies.
Meredith is based at Queen Mary University of London and her PhD focuses on Investigating patients’ perspectives and adherence to anticoagulants for atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition affecting a million people in the UK that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. AF is associated with 1 in 8 strokes (1 in 3 over 80 years). More than half these strokes could be averted by oral anticoagulants (OAC), but the proportion of patients receiving oral anticoagulants has improved by only 1.5% per year over the last 25 years and was only 50% in 2012.
Meredith’s poster- entitled Adherence to direct oral anticoagulants for non-valvular atrial fibrillation in real world settings: a systematic review and meta-analysis – outlines her work to explore how widespread nonadherenece to anticoagulants is.