Kia ora Island Bay School,
My name is Claire Houghton, I am a doctor and researcher at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) based in Wellington Hospital.
The MRINZ is currently running a study for children with asthma, and the team wondered if we might be able to share a community notice about it with parents by placing it in the next school Newsletter and/or on a school notice board, if you felt this was appropriate.
Please find attached a study poster. We can adapt a graphic to be simpler and smaller to fit the newsletter better if you don’t have space for it in this format.
It would also be useful to include contact details for the study in the newsletter. We can be contacted for more information using any of the following methods:
More information: https://trials.mrinz.ac.nz/surveys/?s=XFL7DL98HD
Our study website: https://www.mrinz.ac.nz/currently-recruiting/care-study
We have had great uptake in the Greater Wellington area and are keen to make sure that as many whānau as possible have the opportunity to take part.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Ngā mihi nui,
Children’s Anti-inflammatory REliever (CARE) study
One in seven children in NZ have asthma. This is one of the highest rates in the world. The impact on
children is significant, with asthma accounting for 4.4 days off school, up to 10% of all NZ general practice
(GP) consultations for children, and more than 3000 hospital admissions, every year.
Many children only use a short-acting reliever (“blue”) inhaler (“puffer”), such as Ventolin or Respigen, which
provides fast symptom relief, but does not treat swelling in the lungs that is often present; this can increase
the risk of asthma attacks.
Two recent studies in adults found that Symbicort (an inhaler that combines a long-acting reliever and a
weak steroid) taken only when needed was more effective than short-acting relievers at controlling asthma.
In particular, Symbicort reduced asthma attacks by more than half. The 2020 NZ adolescent and adult
asthma guidelines were changed in response to these findings, recommending that Symbicort be used
instead of short-acting relievers.
There have been no similar studies in children; if comparable efficacy of this regimen is shown in childhood
asthma, then its implementation would transform international guideline recommendations and has the
potential to markedly reduce asthma morbidity globally.
The CARE study has been designed by a team of international asthma experts and paediatricians. The aim
of the study is to find out if there is a difference in the number of asthma attacks between the two treatments.
To do this, we plan to enrol 380 children across New Zealand. All children who take part will be randomly
assigned to use Ventolin (a short-acting reliever) or Symbicort Rapihaler (a long-acting reliever with a weak
steroid) for 1 year.
During the study, participants will attend five visits, at 13-weekly intervals. Three visits will be conducted in
person at the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand (MRINZ) in Wellington Hospital or at the Lower
Hutt After Hours Medical Centre (participant choice) and two via telephone. Visit procedures include
completing asthma questionnaires and performing basic breathing tests.
The CARE study is sponsored by the MRINZ, and funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand
(20/389) and Cure Kids. It is approved by the Northern B Health and Disability Ethics Committee
(20/NTB/200) and the Standing Committee on Therapeutic Trials (20/SCOTT/98).
Benefits to participants
Participants will receive regular asthma education, training, and contact from an experienced team of
Study inhalers are provided free of charge throughout the study.
Participants enrolled into research studies tend to have better outcomes.
Parent(s)/guardian(s) of participants will receive $50 per in-person visit attended to cover the cost of
Benefits to Schools
You will be assisting with world-leading research that could help to reduce the:
o Asthma burden in children, including reducing time missed from school due to asthma.
o Asthma burden on school staff, due to time spent managing poorly controlled asthma.