The PLEASANT study
Preventing and Lessening Exacerbations of Asthma in School-age children Associated with a New Term
After the return to school each year in September there is an increase in medical contacts for children with asthma. It is believed this is because of the viral challenge children face after returning to school when they begin to mix with children in school after the summer vacation.
Children without asthma also have an increase in medical contacts; however, children with asthma are twice as likely to see their doctor after the school return.
Preceding the return to school there is a marked drop in the number of prescriptions that are collected and children not collecting their prescriptions are more likely to see their doctor.
Intervention which increased prescription update and adherence are important in the management of asthma in school age children.
We undertook a cluster of randomised trials with 1,279 school-age children in 142 general practices (70 randomised to intervention)
We found that a letter sent from the family doctor to a parent with a child with asthma informing them of the importance of taking asthma medication prior to the start of the school year increased prescriptions by 30% and reduced medical contacts in the periods September to December and September to August.
This reduction in medical contacts means the intervention is estimated as cost saving, with a saving of £36.07 per patient.
If implemented the intervention could increase prescription uptake, reduce medical contacts and be cost saving.
We found that half the practices in the intervention arm repeated the intervention the following year even though the study had ended.
The plan is to take this work forward to disseminate the results of PLEASANT to get the intervention implemented.
The IMP2ART program grant has just started to complement this research by evaluating personalised action plans.
- Julious SA, Horspool MJ, Davis S, Franklin M, Smithson WH, Norman P, Simpson RM, Elphick H, Bortolami O & Cooper C (2018) Open-label, cluster randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation of a brief letter from a GP on unscheduled medical contacts associated with the start of the school year: the PLEASANT trial. BMJ Open, 8(4), e017367.
- Franklin M, Davis S, Horspool M, Kua WS & Julious S (2017) Economic Evaluations Alongside Efficient Study Designs Using Large Observational Datasets: the PLEASANT Trial Case Study. PharmacoEconomics, 35(5), 561-573.
- Julious SA, Horspool MJ, Davis S, Bradburn M, Norman P, Shephard N, Cooper CL, Smithson WH, Boote J, Elphick H , Loban A et al (2017) PLEASANT: Preventing and Lessening Exacerbations of Asthma in School-age children Associated with a New Term - a cluster randomised controlled trial and economic evaluation.. Health Technology Assessment, 20(93), 1-154.
- Boote J, Julious SA, Horspool MJ, Smithson WH, Elphick H, Norman P. PPI in the PLEASANT trial: Involving children with asthma and their parents in the design of a randomised controlled trial. Primary Health Care Research & Development 2016 DOI:10.1017/S1463423616000025
- Horspool MJ, Julious SA, Mooney C, May R, Sully B & Smithson WH (2015) Preventing and Lessening Exacerbations of Asthma in School-aged children Associated with a New Term (PLEASANT): Recruiting Primary Care Research Sites–the PLEASANT experience. Primary Care Respiratory Journal, 25(1), 15066.
- Horspool MJ, Julious SA, Boote J, Bradburn MJ, Cooper CL, Davis S, Elphick H, Norman P, Smithson WH & vanStaa T (2013) Preventing and lessening exacerbations of asthma in school-age children associated with a new term (PLEASANT): Study protocol for a cluster randomised control trial. Trials, 14(1).
|Name and role||Location||Phone|
|Dr Steven A Julious, Chief Investigator||Medical Statistics Group, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442220709|
|Dr Michelle Horspool, Trial Manager||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldemail@example.com||+44(0)1442224303|
|Dr Cindy Cooper, CTRU Director||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442220743|
|Dr Henry Smithson, General Practitioner||Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
|Dr Jonathan Boote, Lead for Patient & Public Involvement||ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442220892|
|Gerry McCann, Business Development & Clinical Trials Manager||Clinical Practice Research Datalink, MHRA, Londonemail@example.com||+44(0)2030806019|
|Ms Sarah Davis, Health Economist||Health Economics and Decision Sciences, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442225209|
|Dr Paul Norman, Health Psychologist||Department of Psychology, University of Sheffieldemail@example.com||+44(0)1442226505|
|Dr Heather Elphick, Consultant in Paediatric Respiratory Medicine||Paediatric Respiratory Medicine, Sheffield Children's Hospitalfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442220733|
|Ms Helen Wakefield, Trials Support Officer||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldemail@example.com|
|Mr Mike Bradburn, Medical Statistician||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442220706|
|Mr Neil Shephard, Medical Statistician||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffield|
|Dr Amanda Loban, Data Manager||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldemail@example.com||+44(0)1442222995|
|Miss Cara Mooney, Research Assistant||Clinical Trials Research Unit, ScHARR, University of Sheffieldfirstname.lastname@example.org||+44(0)1442224308|
The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.