Reducing asthma admissions using a school-based intervention

Asthma affects 1 in 11 children and young people. Their symptoms range from mild to severe to life-threatening. US data show that asthma impacts on attendance at school, and that high levels of absence result in poor attainment. These adverse consequences are avoidable through effective management.

The team has developed an online asthma control assessment tool for schoolchildren, incorporating validated instruments and questionnaires, where the user answers questions about their asthma and its control. It has been used to test asthma control in school age children, and assess the impact of asthma on their life. The online asthma control assessment tool has also been adapted for clinical use, following input from clinicians and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Here it facilitates measurement of asthma control during consultation, and provides self-management and education tools to improve asthma management.

An intervention (including a board game) has been developed, to educate schoolchildren aged 8+ about the triggers associated with asthma, and how reliever inhalers work to improve asthma self-management.

Building on successful engagement with young people and previous research the team has recently launched the My health in school initiative and website.

Click on the image below to watch a short film about the project featuring CLAHRC researcher Samson Asher Williams

Principal investigator: Professor Jonathan Grigg, Queen Mary University of London

Start date: January 2014

Partners and collaborators involved: Queen Mary University of London; Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust; GlaxoSmithKline; Homerton University Hospitals NHS Trust; UCLP; Barts Health NHS Trust. Three schools have contributed to the development of the project and schools from across East London have agreed to act as research sites.