Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research

Fahad Alkhathami

Project: An investigation of a reminder letter from schools to school-aged children with asthma prior to the start of the academic school year: A cluster-randomised pilot trial

PhD overview

PhD Title: An investigation of a reminder letter from schools to school-aged children with asthma prior to the start of the academic school year: A cluster-randomised pilot trial

Funded by: Saudi Arabia and Saudi Cultural Bureau in Britain (SACB) and University of Bisha

Supervisors: Professor Steven A. Julious, Dr Rebecca Simpson, Dr Phillip Oliver, Dr Rebecca Webster

Based at: University of Sheffield

Email: fmalkhathami1@sheffield.ac.uk

Headshot of Fahad Alkhathami
Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research PhD student, Fahad Alkhathami

The seasonality of asthma in school-aged children presents a challenge for children, parents, and health care professionals.  It has been shown to be the leading cause of school absenteeism, accounting for more than any other chronic disease, with 60% of children with asthma missing school yearly due to respiratory symptoms. These school absences could also be associated with an increase in unscheduled medical contacts and increased in the health cost.

The PLEASANT trial was designed to manage asthma episodes in school-aged children. It involved 142 GP practices, which were randomized into either an intervention group or a control group (receiving usual care). The intervention consisted of a letter to parents, emphasizing the importance of continuing asthma medication throughout the summer break before the start of the new school year. The trial successfully reduced medical contact in the following year and increased medication uptake.

This project involves a cluster-randomized pilot trial conducted at the school level. Its primary objective is to assess the effectiveness of a school-delivered intervention, specifically a letter from the school to the parents or caregivers of children with asthma. The trial aims to evaluate whether this approach can decrease the number of school days missed by these children, reduce the use of unscheduled care, and promote adherence to prescribed medication.

About me

I am employed as a Lecturer at The University of Bisha, Department of Respiratory Therapy, in Saudi Arabia. I earned my B.S. in Respiratory Care from the Prince Sultan Military College of Health Sciences in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in 2013. Following this, I completed my M.S. in Respiratory Care at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in San Antonio, TX, United States, in 2019. Currently, I am a PhD student at The University of Sheffield, Population Health Department, (October 2023 to October 2027).