What was involved? We gave chidlren and young people the option to do as much or as little as they wanted. The minimum we asked for was to fill in an asthma questionnaire and provide a sample of saliva.
We also asked for some or all of thefollowing pieces of information:
- A dietary questionnaire. This let us study how diet may influence asthma and the role genes has to play in this. This could be completed at home.
- A quality of life questionnaire This let us understand how asthma affects a child's quality of life. This can also be completed at home.
- Skin allergy testing. The involved putting drops of water containing things people can be allergic to, eg dust mite, and then scratching the skin under the drop; this lets the water into the skin and if there is an allergy a midge-bite/nettle-sting type of small lumpwill appear for 20-30 minutes. We tested several allergens including dust mite, egg, cat hair, grass, mould and peanut. This was only done at the hospital.
- Breathing tests. In children over 5 years old we did a breathing test called spirometry and then repeated this 15 minutes after taking two puffs of the blue inhaler. This let us see if the airways were narrowed and if so, whether the blue inhaler helps widen the airways.
- Salivary cotinine. This is a substance which is related to breathing in second hand tobacco smoke and lets us study how this exposure is related to symptoms.