ASSIST Study: Assessment of an electronic System of the Impact on Inhaler Skills and Technique

Thank you for visiting this webpage and for your interest in our study. There is more information on this page, but if you have any further questions after reading this, before deciding whether to volunteer, contact details of someone to speak to can be found at the bottom of the page.

The Assist Study

What are the criteria to be included in the study?

We are looking for volunteers who meet the following criteria:

  • Over the age 16.
  • Have been diagnosed with asthma.
  • Are regularly prescribed one of the following inhalers brands: Fostair, Clenil, Trimbow, Seretide or Flixotide (scroll down to see pictures of these inhalers) and have been using it for at least 1 month before starting in the study).
  • Have access to a smartphone or tablet device and be willing to use it regularly to assess inhaler technique during the study.

Unfortunately, you may not be able to take part if you the following apply to you:

  • You use a spacer to take your regular inhalers (the app is currently designed to help guide people who do not currently use a spacer).
  • If you have been prescribed oral steroids for your asthma in the last month.
  • If you need help in taking your inhalers.
  • If you have had to be treated in an intensive care unit for your asthma in the last 3-years.

If you are unsure about whether you may be eligible and want to speak to our research team please get in touch here.

What is the study all about?

It is actually quite difficult to use an inhaler properly and many people who use inhalers for their asthma make mistakes. This can mean that the full dose of your medicine is not reaching the lungs, so people may not be treated as well as they could be or may experience more side effects.

For this reason, it is recommended that training on how to use inhalers is given regularly but we know this may not happen as often as needed. Often people are only shown once how to use their inhaler, when they are first prescribed it.

We would like to test a new tool which has been designed to help guide people to take their inhaler effectively. The tool has two parts – a little device which fits on the inhaler (a Clip-Tone) and a mobile phone app (Clip-Tone Buddy). The Clip-Tone makes a quiet gentle whistling sound when you use your inhaler and inhale at the right speed. The Clip-Tone Buddy app listens for this sound and the sound of the inhaler canister being pressed. Together these are called the Clip-Tone system.

When you use the Clip-Tone system with your inhaler, the app gives you information immediately on your phone screen as to how well you have used your inhaler and how to improve things next time if you have made some minor mistakes. It is simple to use, you can use it every time you use your inhaler if you like and hopefully will lead to you having excellent inhaler technique and getting the most out of your inhaler medicine.

The app can also be used to help remind patients when to take their inhaler and keep a record of when it has been used.

The study hopes to find out if people using the Clip-Tone system make fewer mistakes with their inhaler than those who are not using it. This in turn, might lead to people have better control of their asthma and fewer symptoms and side effects.

If I take part what will I be asked to do?

We will ask you to attend 4-5 visits where a researcher will assess your inhaler technique and ask you some questions about your asthma. The visits will take place over 6-months.

At the beginning of the study, we will randomly assign half the group to using the Clip-Tone system – this is like tossing a coin; e.g. heads would get the Clip-Tone system and tails would continue without it. Don’t worry if you don’t get assigned the Clip-Tone system, at the end of the study we will happily send you the system and show you how to use it, if you wish.

Will my asthma care be changed?

No. If you do take part, you will be either asked to use the Clip-Tone system along with your usual asthma care or to simply continue your care as usual. In either group you must continue to attend medical appointments as normal and take your inhalers as your healthcare professional has instructed.

What else should I know?

We are looking for people who use certain types of inhaler to take part. If you are not currently using one of these devices or are using it with a spacer unfortunately you won’t be eligible to take part.

These are the inhalers that can be used in the study:

What should I do next?

If you think you may want to take part please submit your contact details at this link and our researcher will be in touch.

The Assist Study

Who shall I contact if I have more questions?

Please send an email to Chief Investigator Prof Clare Murray or Lead Researcher, Naomi Brooke

Or call: 07774 472243 / 0161 291 5876

Address: ASSIST Study c/o Prof Murray, 2nd Floor ERC, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, M23 9LT

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