Patient and Public Involvement Member Insights into living with Asthma
Two Patient and Public Involvement members discuss their experiences of living with asthma
Two members of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research Patient and Public Involvement Patient Advisory Group have had their insights published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
Eve Smyth, aged 64 years, is blind and was diagnosed with asthma as an adult, and has experienced a steady worsening of her symptoms across the years. Though it has made her life more difficult, especially during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has left her determined to do what she can to help others with asthma and other respiratory diseases.
In her article, Eve talks about her daily life with asthma, discusses her involvement in the EAVE II study COVID-19 research, and in particular a publication on the impact of COVID-19 on children with asthma.
In November, 2021, the EAVE II Collaboration, whose authors include Centre Director Professor Aziz Sheikh and Sir Lewis Duthie Ritchie, published this important paper. Eve said:
We wanted to give population-wide evidence to the UK’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) on the risk of serious COVID-19 outcomes for children with asthma in Scotland. This was the first national-scale study to look at this question. Because asthma is so common, we wanted to understand whether certain children with asthma were at higher risk than others of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. This should help to inform which children with asthma might be prioritised or encouraged to have one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the future.
"The results from our study are as clear as day: children with asthma should be prioritised for vaccination. And now the younger children are eligible, those younger children with clinical vulnerabilities such as asthma should also be prioritised”
Eve hopes the Scottish Government, which has devolved responsibility for health matters from the UK Government, will also take these results into consideration in its upcoming Respiratory Care Action Plan.
Anna Grosse is a teenager living in Scotland with severe asthma. In her article, Anna discusses her life with asthma since she was diagnosed at age two.
She also states how she is keen to get involved with asthma research through the Centre. Talking about a recently published Centre paper on COVID-19 related hospital admissions across Scotland, she believes it shows clearly that all children over 5 years old with asthma should be prioritised for a COVID-19 vaccine to prevent further hospitalisations. She herself has taken two doses plus a booster dose of vaccine, and is hopeful that the omicron variant surge could be the last major surge of COVID.
Once she finishes school, Anna wants to continue working to improve people's understanding of asthma. She said:
Even though it’s now 2022, many people still don’t understand asthma or its consequences
Public Involvement at the Centre
Eve and Anna are just two of the Centre's Patient and Public Involvement Patient Advisory Group. Find out how we involve people affected by asthma in our research, and how you could get involved.