Non-randomised feasibility study testing a primary care intervention to promote engagement in an online health community for adults with troublesome asthma: protocol.
Karampatakis GD., Wood HE., Griffiths CJ., Taylor SJC., Toffolutti V., Bird VJ., Lea NC., Ashcroft RE., Day B., Coulson NS., Panzarasa P., Li X., Sheikh A., Relton C., Sastry N., Watson JS., Marsh V., Mant J., Mihaylova B., Walker N., De Simoni A.
INTRODUCTION: In the UK, approximately 4.3 million adults have asthma, with one-third experiencing poor asthma control, affecting their quality of life, and increasing their healthcare use. Interventions promoting emotional/behavioural self-management can improve asthma control and reduce comorbidities and mortality. Integration of online peer support into primary care services to foster self-management is a novel strategy. We aim to co-design and evaluate an intervention for primary care clinicians to promote engagement with an asthma online health community (OHC). Our protocol describes a 'survey leading to a trial' design as part of a mixed-methods, non-randomised feasibility study to test the feasibility and acceptability of the intervention. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: Adults on the asthma registers of six London general practices (~3000 patients) will be invited to an online survey, via text messages. The survey will collect data on attitudes towards seeking online peer support, asthma control, anxiety, depression, quality of life, information on the network of people providing support with asthma and demographics. Regression analyses of the survey data will identify correlates/predictors of attitudes/receptiveness towards online peer support. Patients with troublesome asthma, who (in the survey) expressed interest in online peer support, will be invited to receive the intervention, aiming to reach a recruitment target of 50 patients. Intervention will involve a one-off, face-to-face consultation with a practice clinician to introduce online peer support, sign patients up to an established asthma OHC, and encourage OHC engagement. Outcome measures will be collected at baseline and 3 months post intervention and analysed with primary care and OHC engagement data. Recruitment, intervention uptake, retention, collection of outcomes, and OHC engagement will be assessed. Interviews with clinicians and patients will explore experiences of the intervention. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval was obtained from a National Health Service Research Ethics Committee (reference: 22/NE/0182). Written consent will be obtained before intervention receipt and interview participation. Findings will be shared via dissemination to general practices, conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT05829265.