Asthma is a major burden to patients and healthcare systems globally. Today around 358 million people in the world suffer from asthma and every year approximately 400,000 patients die from the disease.
Christine was diagnosed with asthma when she was 22 after a family holiday to Miami where the humidity caused her to experience severe tightness in her chest.
As a teenager, Christine often experienced difficulty breathing. If walking in cold weather, her chest would often clam up and go into spasm. For Christine even gentle exercise such as jogging and walking her dogs around the park were a struggle. She just could not breathe properly.
“When you have an asthma attack you have feelings of panic, you can’t breathe, you think you’re going to die actually. You just can’t breathe.”
Christine is one of 4036 asthma patients in Greater Manchester taking part in The Salford Lung Study, a ground breaking clinical trial that explores how effective a medicine for asthma is in everyday life.
“I wanted to get involved just to help pay a little bit back really. I’ve had years of treatment and benefitted from the National Health System. I had all this medication and stuff, and I just wanted to give a bit back.”
Christine tells us what it’s like to be part of a clinical trial.
What makes the Salford Lung Study unique is that, unlike traditional randomised controlled trials, the study seeks to assess how a medicine works in everyday clinical practice; it is conducted in a broad patient group and involves patient’s local GPs, hospitals and pharmacies. The primary endpoint of the study looks at asthma control as measured by Asthma Control Test, a clinically validated tool used globally to understand the level of control patients have over their asthma.
During her time in the study, Christine was in contact with the nurse to take the asthma control test three times. Each time the test monitored whether her asthma had improved or not.
It was quite easy, very friendly and very informal – just like going to your own doctor. I just got on with life as normal and it didn’t feel like a clinical trial. It wasn’t intrusive in my life at all.
For Christine, anything that can be done to look into new treatments for asthma and help people to live every breath is extremely welcome.