Protocol for the adolescent hayfever trial: cluster randomised controlled trial of an educational intervention for healthcare professionals for the management of school-age children with hayfever

Victoria S. Hammersley*, Samantha Walker, Rob Elton, Aziz Sheikh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Seasonal allergic rhinitis (hayfever) is common and can contribute to a considerable reduction in the quality of life of adolescents. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of standardised allergy training for healthcare professionals in improving disease-specific quality of life in adolescents with hayfever.Adolescents with a history of hayfever registered in general practices in Scotland and England were invited to participate in a cluster randomised controlled trial. The unit of randomisation is general practices.The educational intervention for healthcare professionals consists of a short standardised educational course, which focuses on the management of allergic rhinitis. Patients in the intervention arm of this cluster randomised controlled trial will have a clinic appointment with their healthcare professional who has attended the training course. Patients in the control arm will have a clinic appointment with their healthcare professional and will receive usual care. The primary outcome measure is the change in the Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire with Standardised Activities (RQLQ(S)) score between baseline and six weeks post-intervention in the patient intervention and control groups. Secondary outcome measures relate to healthcare professionals' understanding and confidence in managing allergic rhinitis, changes in clinical practice, numbers of consultations for hayfever and adolescent exam performance.A minimum of 11 practices in each arm of the trial (10 patients per cluster) will provide at least 80% power to demonstrate a minimal clinically important difference of 0.5 in RQLQ(S) score at a significance level of 5% based on an Intraclass Correlation Coefficient (ICC) of 0.02.At the time of submission, 24 general practices have been recruited (12 in each arm of the trial) and the interventions have been delivered. Follow-up data collection is complete. 230 children consented to take part in the trial; however complete primary outcome data are only available for 160. Further recruitment of general practices and patients will therefore take place in the summer of 2010.Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN95538067.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2010

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