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Population-based paediatric respiratory infection surveillance: a prospective inception feasibility cohort study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article number182
Number of pages11
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
DateAccepted/In press - 15 Nov 2018
DatePublished (current) - 10 Dec 2018


Background: There is a need to reduce unnecessary General Practitioner (GP) consultations and improve antibiotic stewardship in primary care. Respiratory tract infections (RTIs) in children are the most common reason for consulting and prescribing. Most RTI research is conducted at the point of consultation, leaving a knowledge gap regarding the population burden of RTIs. Methods: Community-based, online prospective inception cohort study with nested qualitative study, to evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of collecting RTI symptom and microbiological data from children recruited prior to RTI onset. Results: Parents of 10,310 children were invited. 331 parents of 485 (4.7%) children responded and completed baseline data. Respondents were less socioeconomically deprived (p<0.001) with younger (median ages 4 vs. 6 years, p<0.001) children than non-respondents. The same parents reported 346 RTI episodes in 259 children, and 305 RTIs (in 225 children) were retained to parent-reported symptom resolution. Restricting analyses to the first RTI episode per family (to account for clustering effects) parents fully completed symptom diaries for 180 (87% of 192) first illness episodes. Research nurses conducted home visits for 199 RTI episodes, collecting complete (symptomatic) swab sets in 195 (98%). Parents collected 194 (98% of 199 possible) symptomatic (during the nurse visit) and 282 (92% of 305 possible) asymptomatic swab sets (on symptom resolution, no nurse present). Interviews with 30 mothers and 11 children indicated study acceptability. Conclusions: Invitation response rates were in the expected range. The high retention and qualitative evidence suggest that community-based paediatric syndromic and microbiological surveillance research is feasible.

    Structured keywords

  • Brain and Behaviour
  • Tobacco and Alcohol

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