The survey answers will
inform the creation of a new asthma questionnaire, the Generic Asthma
Questionnaire, for patients with mild to moderate asthma, to get a full picture
of how the condition impacts their quality of life. It follows on from the
Severe Asthma Questionnaire (SAQ), an existing research programme led by the
University of Plymouth for patients with severe asthma, which is now being used
in international studies.
Why is the new study taking place?
Biologics are new medications for asthma that interrupt the inflammatory pathways in the
condition. They can only be provided by a specialist and are given by injection
every month or two. So far, biologics have been used to treat severe asthma but
now attention is turning to how they might help in patients with mild to
moderate asthma. Potentially, if biologics were more widely available, then many people could
benefit from improved asthma control, with less reliance on the use of steroid
treatments (which are effective but with many side effects).
The new questionnaire,
when developed, will be used in large international clinical
trials of new biologic treatments for asthma. Fourteen European universities
are collaborating on this stage of the project, alongside Royal Devon and
Exeter NHS Trust the University of Exeter.
the experts say
Study lead, Rupert Jones, Honorary Professor at Plymouth
Marjon University and Honorary Associate Professor at the University of
“Most of us know someone with asthma and, while lots of cases
are relatively well managed, the condition can have varying impacts on people’s
quality of life. Trials of biologics
show big improvements in asthma attacks, lung function and reduction of
hospital admissions. They are very well tolerated and seem to be very safe.
“Other studies, however,
have reported a mixed or negative picture of the quality of life associated
with these medications – so it’s important that we shape and develop the right
questionnaire, asking the right questions, to properly assess how effective
they are for people with mild to moderate asthma.
“The Severe Asthma Questionnaire is on the way to doing
this for those with severe asthma, and we’re looking forward to developing the
Generic Asthma Questionnaire to go alongside it."
For further information on
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