Asthma affects one in 11 children and young people in the UK. On average, this is two children in every classroom. Today scientists in East London are launching a new study to measure the impact asthma has on school children, with the aim of improving school life for those with asthma.
Asthma is responsible for significant levels of absence from school and reduced engagement in school activities. This study, led by Queen Mary University of London, will look at how well young people (aged 12-18 years old) manage their asthma, and the impact this has on attendance, attainment and overall wellbeing at school. Young people will be directly involved in the research, with an active role in improving the management of their asthma.
This research will increase researchers’ knowledge and understanding of how much difference asthma makes to school life. This will then lay the foundations for a follow-up study looking at developing a school-based ‘intervention’, with the aim of actively improving the lives of school children with asthma.
The research, funded by the National Institute for Health Research CLAHRC: North Thames, will be carried out in partnership with Centre of the Cell – the first science education centre in the world to be located within medical research laboratories.
The researchers aim to work with over 60 schools in North and East London and are currently recruiting schools and young people to take part.
Jonathan Grigg, leading the study at Queen Mary University of London, comments: “Asthma has a significant impact on young people’s lives. Many people today underestimate the seriousness or impact of having asthma and also may not realise that symptoms can be improved dramatically depending on how treatment is managed. School is a central part of children’s lives and it can suffer or thrive depending on circumstances. We know asthma can have a negative impact on wellbeing at school, therefore it’s vital we increase our knowledge of how we can actively improve the lives of children with asthma.”
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