Publications by authors named "Richard Beasley"

333 Publications

A Proposed Revision of the Stepwise Treatment Algorithm in Asthma.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Oxford University, Nuffield department of Medicine, Respiratory Medicine, Oxford, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202101-0224LEDOI Listing
March 2021

Inhaled JAK inhibitor GDC-0214 reduces exhaled nitric oxide in patients with mild asthma: a randomized, controlled, proof-of-activity trial.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA USA.

Background: The Janus Kinase (JAK) pathway mediates activity of many asthma-relevant cytokines, including IL-4 and IL-13. GDC-0214 is a potent, inhaled, small molecule JAK inhibitor being developed for the treatment of asthma.

Objective: To determine whether GDC-0214 reduces fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO), a JAK1-dependent biomarker of airway inflammation, in patients with mild asthma.

Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, Phase 1 proof-of-activity study in adults with mild asthma and FeNO >40ppb. Subjects were randomized 2:1 (GDC-0214:placebo) into 4 sequential ascending-dose cohorts (1mg QD, 4mg QD, 15mg QD, or 15mg BID). All subjects received 4 days of blinded placebo, then 10 days of either active drug or placebo. The primary outcome was placebo-corrected percent reduction in FeNO from baseline to Day 14. Baseline was defined as the average FeNO during the blinded placebo period. Pharmacokinetics, safety, and tolerability were also assessed.

Results: Thirty-six subjects (mean age, 28 years; 54% female) were enrolled. Mean FeNO at baseline across all subjects was 93ppb (SD, 43ppb). At Day 14, placebo-corrected difference in FeNO was -23% (95% CI: -37.3, -9) for 15mg QD and -42% (95%CI: -57, -27.4) for 15mg BID. Higher plasma exposure was associated with greater FeNO reduction. No dose-limiting adverse events (AEs), serious AEs, or treatment discontinuations occurred. There were no major imbalances in AEs or laboratory findings, or evidence of systemic JAK inhibition.

Conclusions: GDC-0214, an inhaled JAK inhibitor, caused dose-dependent reductions in FeNO in mild asthma and was well tolerated without evidence of systemic toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2021.02.042DOI Listing
March 2021

Balancing the needs of the many and the few: where next for adult asthma guidelines?

Lancet Respir Med 2021 Feb 24. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Oxford Respiratory NIHR Biomedical Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Asthma differs from many other chronic conditions in that most key management decisions are made in non-specialist settings, such as general practitioner surgeries and accident and emergency departments. Diagnosis in primary care relies on recognition of a characteristic pattern of symptoms and the occurrence of asthma attacks, sometimes supplemented by basic lung function tests. Ongoing management is guided by the assessment of symptoms and simple lung function measures of airflow obstruction, with little attempt made to personalise management. This approach is flawed because the inadequate specificity of symptoms, as well as the low sensitivity of variable airflow obstruction, means that a diagnosis of asthma is often difficult to exclude with confidence. Moreover, even if diagnosed correctly, dissociation between inflammation, airflow obstruction, and symptoms means that a generalised stepwise approach to managing asthma on the basis of symptoms is unlikely to be successful in a substantial proportion of patients. As a result, effective treatments are used inefficiently, and outcomes are often worse than they could be. Rather than use of either a population-based or personalised approach for the diagnosis and management of asthma, we recommend a new combined approach, in which treatment decisions are driven by objective assessment of key treatable mechanistic traits.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(21)00021-7DOI Listing
February 2021

Heterogeneity within and between physician-diagnosed asthma and/or COPD: NOVELTY cohort.

Eur Respir J 2021 Feb 25. Epub 2021 Feb 25.

Respiratory Medical Evidence Strategy, BioPharmaceuticals Medical, AstraZeneca, Gothenburg, Sweden.

Background: Studies of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) typically focus on these diagnoses separately, limiting understanding of disease mechanisms and treatment options. NOVELTY is a global, 3-year, prospective observational study of patients with asthma and/or COPD from real-world clinical practice. We investigated heterogeneity and overlap by diagnosis and severity in this cohort.

Methods: Patients with physician-assigned asthma, COPD or both (asthma+COPD) were enrolled, stratified by diagnosis and severity. Baseline characteristics were reported descriptively by physician-assigned diagnosis and/or severity. Factors associated with physician-assessed severity were evaluated using ordinal logistic regression analysis.

Results: Of 11 243 patients, 5940 (52.8%) had physician-assigned asthma, 1396 (12.4%) had asthma+COPD and 3907 (34.8%) had COPD; almost half were from primary care. Symptoms, health-related quality of life and spirometry showed substantial heterogeneity and overlap between asthma, asthma+COPD and COPD, with 23%, 62% and 64% of patients, respectively, having post-bronchodilator FEV/FVC
Conclusion: This analysis demonstrates marked heterogeneity within, and overlap between, physician-assigned diagnosis and severity groups in patients with asthma and/or COPD. Current diagnostic and severity classifications in clinical practice poorly differentiate between clinical phenotypes that may have specific risks and treatment implications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.03927-2020DOI Listing
February 2021

Underestimation of COVID-19 mortality during the pandemic.

ERJ Open Res 2021 Jan 15;7(1). Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Background: There has been considerable international variation in mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this study was to investigate the differences between mortality registered as due to COVID-19 and the excess all-cause mortality reported in countries worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: Ecological analysis of 22 countries compared 5-year historical all-cause mortality, reported all-cause mortality and expected all-cause mortality (calculated as historical mortality plus the reported deaths attributed to COVID-19). Data available from the first week of January 2020 to that most recently available were analysed.

Results: Compared to the preceding 5 years, there was an excess of 716 616 deaths, of which 64.3% were attributed to COVID-19. The proportion of deaths registered as COVID-19-related/excess deaths varied markedly between countries, ranging between 30% and 197% in those countries that had an excess of deaths during the period of observation. In most countries where a definite peak in COVID-19-related deaths occurred, the increase in reported all-cause mortality preceded the increase in COVID-19 reported mortality. During the latter period of observation, a few countries reported fewer all-cause deaths than the historical figures.

Conclusion: The increases in all-cause mortality preceded the increase in COVID-19 mortality in most countries that had definite spikes in COVID-19 mortality. The number of deaths attributed to COVID-19 was underestimated by at least 35%. Together these findings suggest that calculation of excess all-cause mortality is a better predictor of COVID-19 mortality than the reported rates, in those countries experiencing definite increases in mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00766-2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7734715PMC
January 2021

Asthma and COVID-19: Preconceptions about Predisposition.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2021 04;203(7):799-801

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand Wellington, New Zealand and.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202102-0266EDDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8017587PMC
April 2021

Audit of oxygen administration to achieve a target oxygen saturation range in acutely unwell medical patients.

Postgrad Med J 2021 Feb 15. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Purpose Of The Study: To evaluate documentation of a target oxygen saturation (SpO) range and ability to achieve this range in acutely unwell inpatients.

Study Design: In this single-centre audit, patients with discharge diagnoses of pneumonia, heart failure and exacerbation of asthma or COPD admitted to Wellington Regional Hospital, New Zealand between 1 June 2019 and 31 August 2019 who received oxygen were identified. In those with a documented target SpO range, the proportion of SpO measurements in the observation chart which were within, above and below range were determined as well as the maximum and minimum SpO. Regression analysis was performed to determine whether these outcomes were influenced by the prescribed range, high-dependency care or the number of adjustments to oxygen administration.

Results: 268 admissions were screened. Of the 100 eligible admissions who received oxygen, a target SpO range was documented in 62. The mean (SD) proportion of SpO measurements within range was 56.2 (30.6)%. A hypercapnic target SpO range was associated with a higher probability of an SpO above range; multivariate OR 5.34 (95% CI 1.65 to 17.3, p=0.006) and a lower probability of an SpO below range; multivariate OR 0.25 (95% CI 0.08 to 0.80) p=0.02. The mean (SD) maximum SpO was similar in those with a target range of 92%-96% versus a hypercapnic range; 96.2 (3.0)% and 95.2 (3.4)%, respectively.

Conclusions: Oxygen prescription and delivery in this clinical setting was suboptimal. SpO values above the designated range are common, particularly in patients with a hypercapnic target range.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-139511DOI Listing
February 2021

ICS-formoterol reliever ICS and short-acting β-agonist reliever in asthma: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

ERJ Open Res 2021 Jan 25;7(1). Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Background: The Global Initiative for Asthma recommends as-needed inhaled corticosteroid (ICS)-formoterol as an alternative to maintenance ICS plus short-acting β-agonist (SABA) reliever at step 2 of its stepwise treatment algorithm. Our aim was to assess the efficacy and safety of these two treatment regimens, with a focus on prevention of severe exacerbation.

Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of all randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing as-needed ICS-formoterol with maintenance ICS plus SABA. MEDLINE, Embase, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched from database inception to 12 December 2019. The primary outcome was time to first severe exacerbation. RCTs were excluded if they used as-needed budesonide-formoterol as part of a maintenance and reliever regimen, or did not report on severe exacerbations. The review is registered with PROSPERO (identifier number CRD42020154680).

Results: Four RCTs (n=8065 participants) were included in the analysis. As-needed ICS-formoterol was associated with a prolonged time to first severe exacerbation (hazard ratio 0.85, 95% CI 0.73-1.00; p=0.048) and reduced daily ICS dose (mean difference -177.3 μg, 95% CI -182.2--172.4 μg). Asthma symptom control was worse in the as-needed group (Asthma Control Questionnaire-5 mean difference 0.12, 95% CI 0.09-0.14), although this did not meet the minimal clinically important difference of 0.50 units. There was no significant difference in serious adverse events (OR 1.07, 95% CI 0.84-1.36).

Conclusion: As-needed ICS-formoterol offers a therapeutic alternative to maintenance low-dose ICS plus SABA in asthma and may be the preferred option when prevention of severe exacerbation is the primary aim of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00701-2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836558PMC
January 2021

How big is your bubble? Characteristics of self-isolating household units ('bubbles') during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 period in New Zealand: a cross-sectional survey.

BMJ Open 2021 01 28;11(1):e042464. Epub 2021 Jan 28.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Objective: To characterise the self-isolating household units (bubbles) during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown in New Zealand.

Design, Setting And Participants: In this cross-sectional study, an online survey was distributed to a convenience sample via Facebook advertising and the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand's social media platforms and mailing list. Respondents were able to share a link to the survey via their own social media platforms and by email. Results were collected over 6 days during Alert Level 4 from respondents living in New Zealand, aged 16 years and over.

Main Outcomes Measures: The primary outcome was the mean size of a self-isolating household unit or bubble. Secondary outcomes included the mean number of households in each bubble, the proportion of bubbles containing essential workers and/or vulnerable people, and the mean number of times the home was left each week.

Results: 14 876 surveys were included in the analysis. The mean (SD) bubble size was 3.58 (4.63) people, with mean (SD) number of households 1.26 (0.77). The proportion of bubbles containing one or more essential workers, or one or more vulnerable persons was 45.3% and 42.1%, respectively. The mean number of times individual bubble members left their home in the previous week was 12.9 (12.4). Bubbles that contained at least one vulnerable individual had fewer outings over the previous week compared with bubbles that did not contain a vulnerable person. The bubble sizes were similar by respondent ethnicity.

Conclusion: In this New Zealand convenience sample, bubble sizes were small, mostly limited to one household, and a high proportion contained essential workers and/or vulnerable people. Understanding these characteristics from a country which achieved a low COVID-19 infection rate may help inform public health interventions during this and future pandemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042464DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7844934PMC
January 2021

The Vexed Problem of Corticosteroid Toxicity in Asthma: Time for Standardized Assessment.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 Jan;9(1):373-374

Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.09.001DOI Listing
January 2021

Regulatory action to protect access to hydroxychloroquine for approved rheumatic indications during COVID-19 in New Zealand.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2021 Jan 7. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Auckland District Health Board Auckland, New Zealand and Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41643DOI Listing
January 2021

Management of primary spontaneous pneumothorax: less is more.

Lancet 2021 12;396(10267):1973

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Cairns Hospital, Cairns, QLD, Australia.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32674-XDOI Listing
December 2021

Engaging Māori with qualitative healthcare research using an animated comic.

Health Promot Int 2020 Dec 10. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington 6021, New Zealand.

This article reports an effective strategy for recruiting patients with asthma to a qualitative study using an animated comic advertised on social media. An ad spend of NZ$432 on Facebook resulted in 101 study enquiries, and 27 participants taking part in the focus groups, of which 16 (56%) were Māori, the Indigenous Peoples of New Zealand. Representation of Māori amongst participants was over five times higher than their proportion in the local population (9.7%), resulting in data fulfilling the principle of equal explanatory power, an approach to research which can help advance Māori health development and address inequity. The success of this campaign is of particular interest for health researchers in New Zealand where Māori continue to be disproportionately affected by poorer health outcomes compared with non-Māori, particularly those with asthma. Approaches that better engage and support participation of under-represented communities in clinical research are of wider global interest. We reflect on the recruitment strategy and outcomes within a Kaupapa Māori framework, explore how this can be applied more widely in healthcare, and suggest direction for future study and implementation. Lay summary We designed an animated comic to advertise a study for patients with asthma. This was shared locally with a Facebook ad. The approach was highly engaging with the public, and resulted in rapid recruitment. Interestingly, participation of Māori (the Indigenous People of New Zealand) was over five times higher than their proportion in the local population. Māori have poorer health outcomes and increased barriers to healthcare access compared with non-Māori, particularly those with asthma. Approaches which can engage and support under-represented communities to participate in clinical research are of wider global interest. In this article, we reflect on the recruitment strategy and outcomes, and suggest direction for future study and implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/heapro/daaa111DOI Listing
December 2020

Randomised controlled trial of paracetamol or ibuprofen, as required for fever and pain in the first year of life, for prevention of asthma at age 6 years: paracetamol or ibuprofen in the primary prevention of asthma in Tamariki (PIPPA Tamariki) protocol.

BMJ Open 2020 12 10;10(12):e038296. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Cure Kids Chair of Child Health Research; Departments of Surgery and Paediatrics: Child and Youth Health, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Introduction: Asthma is one of the most common diseases in the world and is a global public health burden. There is an urgent need for research that leads to evidenced-based primary prevention strategies to reduce the prevalence of asthma. One novel risk factor that might have a role in the pathogenesis of asthma is the use of paracetamol in early life. This trial aims to determine if paracetamol, compared with ibuprofen use, as required for fever and pain in the first year of life, increases the risk of asthma at age 6 years.

Methods And Analysis: The Paracetamol and Ibuprofen in Primary Prevention of Asthma in Tamariki trial is a multicentre, open-label, two-arm parallel randomised controlled trial. 3922 infants born at ≥32 weeks' gestation will be randomly allocated to receive only paracetamol or only ibuprofen for treatment of fever and pain, if required in the first year of life. The primary outcome is asthma at 6 years of age, defined as the presence of wheeze in the preceding 12 months. Secondary outcomes include hospital admissions for bronchiolitis, wheeze or asthma in the first year of life, and within the first 6 years of life; wheeze at 3 years of age; eczema within the first year and at 3 and 6 years of age; atopy at 3 and 6 years of age.

Ethics And Dissemination: The trial has been approved by the Northern A Health and Disability Ethics Committee of New Zealand (17/NTA/233). Dissemination plans include publication in international peer-reviewed journals, and presentation at national and international scientific meetings, assimilation into national and international guidelines, and presentation of findings to lay audiences through established media links.

Trial Registration Number: ACTRN12618000303246; Pre-results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-038296DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7733172PMC
December 2020

Searching for the optimal oxygen saturation range in acutely unwell patients.

Emerg Med J 2021 Mar 26;38(3):168-169. Epub 2020 Nov 26.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/emermed-2020-210749DOI Listing
March 2021

Influenza control during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lancet 2020 11 22;396(10263):1633-1634. Epub 2020 Oct 22.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington 6021, New Zealand; Capital and Coast District Health Board, Wellington, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(20)32166-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581384PMC
November 2020

Experiences, patient interactions and knowledge regarding the use of cannabis as a medicine in a cohort of New Zealand doctors in an oncology setting.

Postgrad Med J 2020 Nov 20. Epub 2020 Nov 20.

School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.

Purpose Of Study: To explore the experiences, patient interactions and knowledge regarding the use of cannabis as a medicine in New Zealand doctors in an oncology setting.

Study Design: An observational cross-sectional survey undertaken between November 2019 and January 2020 across four secondary-care hospital oncology departments within New Zealand (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin). Participants were a convenience sample of doctors; consultants, registrars, medical officers of special status and house surgeons working in oncology departments. Of 53 individuals approached, 45 participated (85% Response Rate). The primary outcome was reporteddoctor-patient interactions. Secondary outcomes included knowledge of cannabis-based products, their efficacy, prescribing regulations and educational access.

Results: Of 44 doctors, 37 (84%, 95% CI: 70 to 93) reported patient requests to prescribe cannabis-based products and 43 (98%, 95% CI: 88 to 100) reported patients using illicit cannabis for medical symptoms. Primary request reasons were pain, nausea/vomiting and cancer treatment. 33/45 (73%, 95% CI: 58 to 85) cited knowledge of at least one cannabis-based product and 27/45 (60%, 95% CI: 44 to 74) indicated at least one condition that had evidence of efficacy. 36/44 (82%, 95% CI: 67 to 92) expressed future prescribing concerns but all were willing to use a cannabis-based product developed with traditional medical provenance.

Conclusion: In the oncology setting, patients are asking doctors about symptomatic and curative treatment with cannabis-based products. Doctors are not biased against the use of products showing medical provenance; however, NZ-specific clinical and regulatory guidelines are essential to support patient discussions and appropriate prescribing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-139013DOI Listing
November 2020

Using comics and curiosity to drive pandemic research on a national scale.

J Vis Commun Med 2021 Jan 18;44(1):12-22. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

An independent online Public Health survey regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was conducted during an Alert Level 4 lockdown, the highest possible, in New Zealand. An illustrated and curiosity-driven public engagement campaign was designed to advertise survey participation, and performance compared with a standard approach using randomised controlled A/B Split tests. The 'Caretoon' approach featured comic illustrations, appealed to goodwill and was intended to pique curiosity. This linked to an illustrated version of the survey which, upon completion, gave a personalised comic summary showing how respondent's answers compared with national averages. The standard ad and survey were not illustrated with comics, and did not provide a personalised comic summary on completion. Both approaches were cost- and time-effective, together resulting in 18,788 responses over six days. The Caretoon approach outperformed the standard approach in terms of the number of people reached, engaged, survey link clicks, gender and ethnic diversity amongst respondents, and cost-effectiveness of advertising. This came at the expense of a small reduction in the proportion of completed surveys and male respondents. The research evidences objective value of public engagement activity, comics and curiosity as tools which can support Public Health research on a national scale.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17453054.2020.1823206DOI Listing
January 2021

The management of mild asthma.

Eur Respir J 2021 Apr 8;57(4). Epub 2021 Apr 8.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) have been recommended as a maintenance treatment, either alone or together with long-acting inhaled β-agonists, for all asthma patients. Short-acting β-agonists (SABAs) are rapid-onset bronchodilators, which provide symptom relief, but have no anti-inflammatory properties, yet are the most widely used as-needed reliever treatment for asthma and often the only treatment prescribed. Asthma patients can find adhering to daily preventative medication with ICS difficult and will often revert to using as-needed SABA as their only treatment, increasing their risk of exacerbations. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the efficacy of reliever medications that contain ICS compared with SABA as reliever, or with maintenance ICS and SABA as reliever, in mild asthma patients.Nine studies were identified that have evaluated the use of ICS as a component of an as-needed reliever in patients with mild asthma. Four of the most recent studies compared the combination of ICS/formoterol to SABA as reliever.ICS-containing reliever medication was superior to SABA as reliever alone, and was equivalent to maintenance ICS and SABA as reliever, particularly in reducing risks of severe asthma exacerbations, in studies which compared these reliever options.SABAs should not be used as a reliever without ICS. The concern about patients with mild asthma not being adherent to maintenance ICS supports a recommendation that ICS/formoterol should be considered as a treatment option instead of maintenance ICS, to avoid the risk of patients reverting to SABA alone.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1183/13993003.03051-2020DOI Listing
April 2021

Closed-Loop Oxygen Control Using a Novel Nasal High-Flow Device: A Randomized Crossover Trial.

Respir Care 2021 Mar 20;66(3):416-424. Epub 2020 Oct 20.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Background: Oxygen administration is recommended for patients with hypoxemia to achieve a target [Formula: see text] range. Strategies to achieve this in clinical practice are suboptimal. We investigated automatic oxygen titration using a novel nasal high-flow device with closed-loop oxygen control. The objective of this proof-of-concept study was to determine whether closed-loop control was able to respond to desaturation and subsequent recovery in a controlled laboratory-based environment.

Methods: We conducted a single-blind randomized crossover trial in adults with chronic respiratory disease who had a resting [Formula: see text] ≥ 92% and desaturated to < 90% during a 6-min walk test (6MWT). Nasal high-flow was administered during a 6MWT and a subsequent 10-min rest period with either room air, a fixed concentration of 28% oxygen, or oxygen titrated automatically using closed-loop control.

Results: The study involved 42 subjects. Closed-loop control maintained [Formula: see text] within the target range of 92-96% for a mean (SD) duration of 54.4 ± 30.1% of the 6MWT and 67.3 ± 26.8% of the recovery period. The proportion of time spent with an [Formula: see text] in the target range during the 6MWT was significantly greater for closed-loop control compared to room air, with a difference of 26.0% (95% CI 17.7-34.2, < .001); this proportion of time was not significantly different compared to the fixed concentration of 28% oxygen, with a difference of -8.2% (95% CI -16.5 to 0.1, = .052). The proportion of time spent in the target range during the rest period was significantly greater compared to 28% oxygen, with a difference of 19.3% (95% CI 8.9-29.7, < .001); this proportion of time was not significantly different compared to room air, with a difference of -9.3% (95% CI -19.7 to 1.0, = .08).

Conclusions: This study provides proof-of-concept evidence that the novel nasal high-flow device with closed-loop control can respond to changes in [Formula: see text] outside a target saturation range using a model of exercise-induced desaturation and subsequent recovery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4187/respcare.08087DOI Listing
March 2021

Knowledge and perspectives about the use of cannabis as a medicine: a mixed methods observational study in a cohort of New Zealand general practice patients.

N Z Med J 2020 09 25;133(1522):96-111. Epub 2020 Sep 25.

Deputy Director, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington.

Aim: To determine what patients presenting to general practice (GP) understand about the use of cannabis as a medicine, beliefs of how this may impact their medical conditions and interactions with doctors.

Method: An in-person survey of 134 GP patients from four GP practices throughout the North Island of New Zealand undertaken from November 2018 to October 2019.

Results: Fifty-five percent of the sample were female, with 40% of all participants aged 60 years plus. Ninety-one percent of participants indicated they would use a prescribed medicinal cannabis product while 45% reported they believed it may be of some benefit to their medical condition. Of those who believed it beneficial, 71% indicated they thought it useful for pain relief. Participants indicated comfort discussing medicinal cannabis use with GPs and specialists (92% respectively); however, less than 10% had done this.

Conclusions: Just under half of patients surveyed believe that medicinal cannabis products may be helpful to their condition, and while the majority report willingness, few have discussed this with their GP or specialist. There is need for accessible, accurate information regarding the use of cannabis-based medicine for patients and doctors alike to guide the patient-doctor consultation and decrease barriers to open discussion.
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September 2020

More options for managing severe asthma in adults.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 01 9;9(1):3-5. Epub 2020 Sep 9.

Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30398-2DOI Listing
January 2021

Reducing the burden of asthma: time to set research and clinical priorities.

Lancet Respir Med 2020 10 7;8(10):943-944. Epub 2020 Sep 7.

Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30400-8DOI Listing
October 2020

Effect of Hydrocortisone on Mortality and Organ Support in Patients With Severe COVID-19: The REMAP-CAP COVID-19 Corticosteroid Domain Randomized Clinical Trial.

Authors:
Derek C Angus Lennie Derde Farah Al-Beidh Djillali Annane Yaseen Arabi Abigail Beane Wilma van Bentum-Puijk Lindsay Berry Zahra Bhimani Marc Bonten Charlotte Bradbury Frank Brunkhorst Meredith Buxton Adrian Buzgau Allen C Cheng Menno de Jong Michelle Detry Lise Estcourt Mark Fitzgerald Herman Goossens Cameron Green Rashan Haniffa Alisa M Higgins Christopher Horvat Sebastiaan J Hullegie Peter Kruger Francois Lamontagne Patrick R Lawler Kelsey Linstrum Edward Litton Elizabeth Lorenzi John Marshall Daniel McAuley Anna McGlothin Shay McGuinness Bryan McVerry Stephanie Montgomery Paul Mouncey Srinivas Murthy Alistair Nichol Rachael Parke Jane Parker Kathryn Rowan Ashish Sanil Marlene Santos Christina Saunders Christopher Seymour Anne Turner Frank van de Veerdonk Balasubramanian Venkatesh Ryan Zarychanski Scott Berry Roger J Lewis Colin McArthur Steven A Webb Anthony C Gordon Farah Al-Beidh Derek Angus Djillali Annane Yaseen Arabi Wilma van Bentum-Puijk Scott Berry Abigail Beane Zahra Bhimani Marc Bonten Charlotte Bradbury Frank Brunkhorst Meredith Buxton Allen Cheng Menno De Jong Lennie Derde Lise Estcourt Herman Goossens Anthony Gordon Cameron Green Rashan Haniffa Francois Lamontagne Patrick Lawler Edward Litton John Marshall Colin McArthur Daniel McAuley Shay McGuinness Bryan McVerry Stephanie Montgomery Paul Mouncey Srinivas Murthy Alistair Nichol Rachael Parke Kathryn Rowan Christopher Seymour Anne Turner Frank van de Veerdonk Steve Webb Ryan Zarychanski Lewis Campbell Andrew Forbes David Gattas Stephane Heritier Lisa Higgins Peter Kruger Sandra Peake Jeffrey Presneill Ian Seppelt Tony Trapani Paul Young Sean Bagshaw Nick Daneman Niall Ferguson Cheryl Misak Marlene Santos Sebastiaan Hullegie Mathias Pletz Gernot Rohde Kathy Rowan Brian Alexander Kim Basile Timothy Girard Christopher Horvat David Huang Kelsey Linstrum Jennifer Vates Richard Beasley Robert Fowler Steve McGloughlin Susan Morpeth David Paterson Bala Venkatesh Tim Uyeki Kenneth Baillie Eamon Duffy Rob Fowler Thomas Hills Katrina Orr Asad Patanwala Steve Tong Mihai Netea Shilesh Bihari Marc Carrier Dean Fergusson Ewan Goligher Ghady Haidar Beverley Hunt Anand Kumar Mike Laffan Patrick Lawless Sylvain Lother Peter McCallum Saskia Middeldopr Zoe McQuilten Matthew Neal John Pasi Roger Schutgens Simon Stanworth Alexis Turgeon Alexandra Weissman Neill Adhikari Matthew Anstey Emily Brant Angelique de Man Francois Lamonagne Marie-Helene Masse Andrew Udy Donald Arnold Phillipe Begin Richard Charlewood Michael Chasse Mark Coyne Jamie Cooper James Daly Iain Gosbell Heli Harvala-Simmonds Tom Hills Sheila MacLennan David Menon John McDyer Nicole Pridee David Roberts Manu Shankar-Hari Helen Thomas Alan Tinmouth Darrell Triulzi Tim Walsh Erica Wood Carolyn Calfee Cecilia O’Kane Murali Shyamsundar Pratik Sinha Taylor Thompson Ian Young Shailesh Bihari Carol Hodgson John Laffey Danny McAuley Neil Orford Ary Neto Michelle Detry Mark Fitzgerald Roger Lewis Anna McGlothlin Ashish Sanil Christina Saunders Lindsay Berry Elizabeth Lorenzi Eliza Miller Vanessa Singh Claire Zammit Wilma van Bentum Puijk Wietske Bouwman Yara Mangindaan Lorraine Parker Svenja Peters Ilse Rietveld Kik Raymakers Radhika Ganpat Nicole Brillinger Rene Markgraf Kate Ainscough Kathy Brickell Aisha Anjum Janis-Best Lane Alvin Richards-Belle Michelle Saull Daisy Wiley Julian Bion Jason Connor Simon Gates Victoria Manax Tom van der Poll John Reynolds Marloes van Beurden Evelien Effelaar Joost Schotsman Craig Boyd Cain Harland Audrey Shearer Jess Wren Giles Clermont William Garrard Kyle Kalchthaler Andrew King Daniel Ricketts Salim Malakoutis Oscar Marroquin Edvin Music Kevin Quinn Heidi Cate Karen Pearson Joanne Collins Jane Hanson Penny Williams Shane Jackson Adeeba Asghar Sarah Dyas Mihaela Sutu Sheenagh Murphy Dawn Williamson Nhlanhla Mguni Alison Potter David Porter Jayne Goodwin Clare Rook Susie Harrison Hannah Williams Hilary Campbell Kaatje Lomme James Williamson Jonathan Sheffield Willian van’t Hoff Phobe McCracken Meredith Young Jasmin Board Emma Mart Cameron Knott Julie Smith Catherine Boschert Julia Affleck Mahesh Ramanan Ramsy D’Souza Kelsey Pateman Arif Shakih Winston Cheung Mark Kol Helen Wong Asim Shah Atul Wagh Joanne Simpson Graeme Duke Peter Chan Brittney Cartner Stephanie Hunter Russell Laver Tapaswi Shrestha Adrian Regli Annamaria Pellicano James McCullough Mandy Tallott Nikhil Kumar Rakshit Panwar Gail Brinkerhoff Cassandra Koppen Federica Cazzola Matthew Brain Sarah Mineall Roy Fischer Vishwanath Biradar Natalie Soar Hayden White Kristen Estensen Lynette Morrison Joanne Smith Melanie Cooper Monash Health Yahya Shehabi Wisam Al-Bassam Amanda Hulley Christina Whitehead Julie Lowrey Rebecca Gresha James Walsham Jason Meyer Meg Harward Ellen Venz Patricia Williams Catherine Kurenda Kirsy Smith Margaret Smith Rebecca Garcia Deborah Barge Deborah Byrne Kathleen Byrne Alana Driscoll Louise Fortune Pierre Janin Elizabeth Yarad Naomi Hammond Frances Bass Angela Ashelford Sharon Waterson Steve Wedd Robert McNamara Heidi Buhr Jennifer Coles Sacha Schweikert Bradley Wibrow Rashmi Rauniyar Erina Myers Ed Fysh Ashlish Dawda Bhaumik Mevavala Ed Litton Janet Ferrier Priya Nair Hergen Buscher Claire Reynolds John Santamaria Leanne Barbazza Jennifer Homes Roger Smith Lauren Murray Jane Brailsford Loretta Forbes Teena Maguire Vasanth Mariappa Judith Smith Scott Simpson Matthew Maiden Allsion Bone Michelle Horton Tania Salerno Martin Sterba Wenli Geng Pieter Depuydt Jan De Waele Liesbet De Bus Jan Fierens Stephanie Bracke Brenda Reeve William Dechert Michaël Chassé François Martin Carrier Dounia Boumahni Fatna Benettaib Ali Ghamraoui David Bellemare Ève Cloutier Charles Francoeur François Lamontagne Frédérick D’Aragon Elaine Carbonneau Julie Leblond Gloria Vazquez-Grande Nicole Marten Maggie Wilson Martin Albert Karim Serri Alexandros Cavayas Mathilde Duplaix Virginie Williams Bram Rochwerg Tim Karachi Simon Oczkowski John Centofanti Tina Millen Erick Duan Jennifer Tsang Lisa Patterson Shane English Irene Watpool Rebecca Porteous Sydney Miezitis Lauralyn McIntyre Laurent Brochard Karen Burns Gyan Sandhu Imrana Khalid Alexandra Binnie Elizabeth Powell Alexandra McMillan Tracy Luk Noah Aref Zdravko Andric Sabina Cviljevic Renata Đimoti Marija Zapalac Gordan Mirković Bruno Baršić Marko Kutleša Viktor Kotarski Ana Vujaklija Brajković Jakša Babel Helena Sever Lidija Dragija Ira Kušan Suvi Vaara Leena Pettilä Jonna Heinonen Anne Kuitunen Sari Karlsson Annukka Vahtera Heikki Kiiski Sanna Ristimäki Amine Azaiz Cyril Charron Mathieu Godement Guillaume Geri Antoine Vieillard-Baron Franck Pourcine Mehran Monchi David Luis Romain Mercier Anne Sagnier Nathalie Verrier Cecile Caplin Shidasp Siami Christelle Aparicio Sarah Vautier Asma Jeblaoui Muriel Fartoukh Laura Courtin Vincent Labbe Cécile Leparco Grégoire Muller Mai-Anh Nay Toufik Kamel Dalila Benzekri Sophie Jacquier Emmanuelle Mercier Delphine Chartier Charlotte Salmon PierreFrançois Dequin Francis Schneider Guillaume Morel Sylvie L’Hotellier Julio Badie Fernando Daniel Berdaguer Sylvain Malfroy Chaouki Mezher Charlotte Bourgoin Bruno Megarbane Sebastian Voicu Nicolas Deye Isabelle Malissin Laetitia Sutterlin Christophe Guitton Cédric Darreau Mickaël Landais Nicolas Chudeau Alain Robert Pierre Moine Nicholas Heming Virginie Maxime Isabelle Bossard Tiphaine Barbarin Nicholier Gwenhael Colin Vanessa Zinzoni Natacham Maquigneau André Finn Gabriele Kreß Uwe Hoff Carl Friedrich Hinrichs Jens Nee Mathias Pletz Stefan Hagel Juliane Ankert Steffi Kolanos Frank Bloos Sirak Petros Bastian Pasieka Kevin Kunz Peter Appelt Bianka Schütze Stefan Kluge Axel Nierhaus Dominik Jarczak Kevin Roedl Dirk Weismann Anna Frey Vivantes Klinikum Neukölln Lorenz Reill Michael Distler Astrid Maselli János Bélteczki István Magyar Ágnes Fazekas Sándor Kovács Viktória Szőke Gábor Szigligeti János Leszkoven Daniel Collins Patrick Breen Stephen Frohlich Ruth Whelan Bairbre McNicholas Michael Scully Siobhan Casey Maeve Kernan Peter Doran Michael O’Dywer Michelle Smyth Leanne Hayes Oscar Hoiting Marco Peters Els Rengers Mirjam Evers Anton Prinssen Jeroen Bosch Ziekenhuis Koen Simons Wim Rozendaal F Polderman P de Jager M Moviat A Paling A Salet Emma Rademaker Anna Linda Peters E de Jonge J Wigbers E Guilder M Butler Keri-Anne Cowdrey Lynette Newby Yan Chen Catherine Simmonds Rachael McConnochie Jay Ritzema Carter Seton Henderson Kym Van Der Heyden Jan Mehrtens Tony Williams Alex Kazemi Rima Song Vivian Lai Dinu Girijadevi Robert Everitt Robert Russell Danielle Hacking Ulrike Buehner Erin Williams Troy Browne Kate Grimwade Jennifer Goodson Owen Keet Owen Callender Robert Martynoga Kara Trask Amelia Butler Livia Schischka Chelsea Young Eden Lesona Shaanti Olatunji Yvonne Robertson Nuno José Teodoro Amaro dos Santos Catorze Tiago Nuno Alfaro de Lima Pereira Lucilia Maria Neves Pessoa Ricardo Manuel Castro Ferreira Joana Margarida Pereira Sousa Bastos Simin Aysel Florescu Delia Stanciu Miahela Florentina Zaharia Alma Gabriela Kosa Daniel Codreanu Yaseen Marabi Eman Al Qasim Mohamned Moneer Hagazy Lolowa Al Swaidan Hatim Arishi Rosana Muñoz-Bermúdez Judith Marin-Corral Anna Salazar Degracia Francisco Parrilla Gómez Maria Isabel Mateo López Jorge Rodriguez Fernandez Sheila Cárcel Fernández Rosario Carmona Flores Rafael León López Carmen de la Fuente Martos Angela Allan Petra Polgarova Neda Farahi Stephen McWilliam Daniel Hawcutt Laura Rad Laura O’Malley Jennifer Whitbread Olivia Kelsall Laura Wild Jessica Thrush Hannah Wood Karen Austin Adrian Donnelly Martin Kelly Sinéad O’Kane Declan McClintock Majella Warnock Paul Johnston Linda Jude Gallagher Clare Mc Goldrick Moyra Mc Master Anna Strzelecka Rajeev Jha Michael Kalogirou Christine Ellis Vinodh Krishnamurthy Vashish Deelchand Jon Silversides Peter McGuigan Kathryn Ward Aisling O’Neill Stephanie Finn Barbara Phillips Dee Mullan Laura Oritz-Ruiz de Gordoa Matthew Thomas Katie Sweet Lisa Grimmer Rebekah Johnson Jez 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JAMA 2020 10;324(13):1317-1329

Division of Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine and Intensive Care Medicine, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Importance: Evidence regarding corticosteroid use for severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is limited.

Objective: To determine whether hydrocortisone improves outcome for patients with severe COVID-19.

Design, Setting, And Participants: An ongoing adaptive platform trial testing multiple interventions within multiple therapeutic domains, for example, antiviral agents, corticosteroids, or immunoglobulin. Between March 9 and June 17, 2020, 614 adult patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled and randomized within at least 1 domain following admission to an intensive care unit (ICU) for respiratory or cardiovascular organ support at 121 sites in 8 countries. Of these, 403 were randomized to open-label interventions within the corticosteroid domain. The domain was halted after results from another trial were released. Follow-up ended August 12, 2020.

Interventions: The corticosteroid domain randomized participants to a fixed 7-day course of intravenous hydrocortisone (50 mg or 100 mg every 6 hours) (n = 143), a shock-dependent course (50 mg every 6 hours when shock was clinically evident) (n = 152), or no hydrocortisone (n = 108).

Main Outcomes And Measures: The primary end point was organ support-free days (days alive and free of ICU-based respiratory or cardiovascular support) within 21 days, where patients who died were assigned -1 day. The primary analysis was a bayesian cumulative logistic model that included all patients enrolled with severe COVID-19, adjusting for age, sex, site, region, time, assignment to interventions within other domains, and domain and intervention eligibility. Superiority was defined as the posterior probability of an odds ratio greater than 1 (threshold for trial conclusion of superiority >99%).

Results: After excluding 19 participants who withdrew consent, there were 384 patients (mean age, 60 years; 29% female) randomized to the fixed-dose (n = 137), shock-dependent (n = 146), and no (n = 101) hydrocortisone groups; 379 (99%) completed the study and were included in the analysis. The mean age for the 3 groups ranged between 59.5 and 60.4 years; most patients were male (range, 70.6%-71.5%); mean body mass index ranged between 29.7 and 30.9; and patients receiving mechanical ventilation ranged between 50.0% and 63.5%. For the fixed-dose, shock-dependent, and no hydrocortisone groups, respectively, the median organ support-free days were 0 (IQR, -1 to 15), 0 (IQR, -1 to 13), and 0 (-1 to 11) days (composed of 30%, 26%, and 33% mortality rates and 11.5, 9.5, and 6 median organ support-free days among survivors). The median adjusted odds ratio and bayesian probability of superiority were 1.43 (95% credible interval, 0.91-2.27) and 93% for fixed-dose hydrocortisone, respectively, and were 1.22 (95% credible interval, 0.76-1.94) and 80% for shock-dependent hydrocortisone compared with no hydrocortisone. Serious adverse events were reported in 4 (3%), 5 (3%), and 1 (1%) patients in the fixed-dose, shock-dependent, and no hydrocortisone groups, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: Among patients with severe COVID-19, treatment with a 7-day fixed-dose course of hydrocortisone or shock-dependent dosing of hydrocortisone, compared with no hydrocortisone, resulted in 93% and 80% probabilities of superiority with regard to the odds of improvement in organ support-free days within 21 days. However, the trial was stopped early and no treatment strategy met prespecified criteria for statistical superiority, precluding definitive conclusions.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02735707.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2020.17022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7489418PMC
October 2020

Towards a personalised treatment approach for asthma attacks.

Thorax 2020 12 24;75(12):1119-1129. Epub 2020 Aug 24.

Nottingham Respiratory Research Unit, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.

Asthma attacks (exacerbations) are common, accounting for over 90 000 UK hospital admissions per annum. They kill nearly 1500 people per year in the UK, have significant associated direct and indirect costs and lead to accelerated and permanent loss of lung function. The recognition of asthma as a heterogeneous condition with multiple phenotypes has revolutionised the approach to the long-term management of the condition, with greater emphasis on personalised treatment and the introduction of the treatable traits concept. In contrast asthma attacks are poorly defined and understood and our treatment approach consists of bronchodilators and systemic corticosteroids. This review aims to explore the current limitations in the description, assessment and management of asthma attacks. We will outline the risk factors for attacks, strategies to modify this risk and describe the recognised characteristics of attacks as a first step towards the development of an approach for phenotyping and personalising the treatment of these critically important events. By doing this, we hope to gradually improve asthma attack treatment and reduce the adverse effects associated with recurrent courses of corticosteroids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2020-214692DOI Listing
December 2020

Conservative oxygen therapy for mechanically ventilated adults with suspected hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy.

Intensive Care Med 2020 Dec 18;46(12):2411-2422. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Intensive Care Unit, John Hunter Hospital, New Lambton Heights, NSW, Australia.

Purpose: Liberal use of oxygen may contribute to secondary brain injury in patients with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE). However, there are limited data on the effect of different oxygen regimens on survival and neurological disability in HIE patients.

Methods: We undertook a post-hoc analysis of the 166 patients with suspected HIE enrolled in a trial comparing conservative oxygen therapy with usual oxygen therapy in 1000 mechanically ventilated ICU patients. The primary endpoint for the current analysis was death or unfavourable neurological outcome at day 180. Key secondary outcomes were day 180 mortality, and cause-specific mortality.

Results: Patients with HIE allocated to conservative oxygen spent less time in the ICU with an SpO ≥ 97% (26 h [interquartile range (IQR) 13-45 vs. 35 h [IQR 19-70], absolute difference, 9 h; 95% CI - 21.4 to 3.4). A total of 43 of 78 patients (55.1%) assigned to conservative oxygen and 49 of 72 patients (68.1%) assigned to usual oxygen died or had an unfavourable neurological outcome at day 180; odds ratio 0.58; 95% CI 0.3-1.12; P = 0.1 adjusted odds ratio 0.54; 95% CI 0.23-1.26; P = 0.15. A total of 37 of 86 patients (43%) assigned to conservative oxygen and 46 of 78 (59%) assigned to usual oxygen had died by day 180; odds ratio 0.53; 95% CI 0.28-0.98; P = 0.04; adjusted odds ratio 0.56; 95% CI 0.25-1.23; P = 0.15. Cause-specific mortality was similar by treatment group.

Conclusions: Conservative oxygen therapy was not associated with a statistically significant reduction in death or unfavourable neurological outcomes at day 180. The potential for important benefit or harm from conservative oxygen therapy in HIE patients is not excluded by these data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00134-020-06196-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7431900PMC
December 2020

Patient preferences for asthma management: a qualitative study.

BMJ Open 2020 08 16;10(8):e037491. Epub 2020 Aug 16.

Department of Medicine, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand.

Objective: Preference for asthma management and the use of medications is motivated by the interplay between lived experiences of asthma and patients' attitudes towards medications. Many previous studies have focused on individual aspects of asthma management, such as the use of preventer and reliever inhalers. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore the preferences of patients with mild-moderate asthma for asthma management as a whole and factors that influenced these preferences.

Design: A qualitative study employing qualitative descriptive analysis situated within a constructionist epistemology to analyse transcribed audio recordings from focus groups.

Setting: Three locations within the greater Wellington area in New Zealand.

Participants: Twenty-seven adults with self-reported doctor's diagnosis of asthma, taking short-acting beta-agonists alone or inhaled corticosteroids with or without long-acting beta-agonist, who had used any inhaled asthma medication within the last month.

Results: Four key areas described preferences for asthma management. Preferences for self-management: participants wanted to be in control of their asthma and developed personal strategies to achieve this. Preferences for the specific medications or treatment regimen: participants preferred regimens that were convenient and reliably relieved symptoms. Preferences for inhaler devices: devices that had dose counters and were easy to use and portable were important. Preferences for asthma services: participants wanted easier access to their inhalers and to be empowered by their healthcare providers. Participant preferences within each of these four areas were influenced by the impact asthma had on their life, their health beliefs, emotional consequences of asthma and perceived barriers to asthma management.

Conclusions: This study illustrates the interaction of the lived experience of asthma, factors specific to the individual, and factors relating to asthma treatments in shaping patient preferences for asthma management. This aids our understanding of preferences for asthma management from the patient perspective.

Trial Registration Number: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12619000601134).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037491DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7430405PMC
August 2020

What matters most to patients when choosing treatment for mild-moderate asthma? Results from a discrete choice experiment.

Thorax 2020 10 27;75(10):842-848. Epub 2020 Jul 27.

Asthma Programme, Medical Research Institute of New Zealand, Wellington, New Zealand.

Background: An as-needed combination preventer and reliever regimen was recently introduced as an alternative to conventional daily preventer treatment for mild asthma. In a subgroup analysis of the PRACTICAL study, a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of budesonide-formoterol reliever therapy versus maintenance budesonide plus terbutaline reliever therapy in adults with mild asthma, we recently reported that about two-thirds preferred as-needed combination preventer and reliever therapy. The aim of this study was to determine the relative importance of attributes associated with these two asthma therapies in this subgroup of participants who indicated their preferred treatment in the PRACTICAL study.

Methods: At their final study visit, a subgroup of participants indicated their preferred treatment and completed a discrete choice experiment using the Potentially All Pairwise RanKings of all possible Alternatives method and 1000minds software. Treatment attributes and their levels were selected from measurable study outcomes, and included: treatment regimen, shortness of breath, steroid dose and likelihood of asthma flare-up.

Results: The final analysis dataset included 288 participants, 64% of whom preferred as-needed combination preventer and reliever. Of the attributes, no shortness of breath and lowest risk of asthma flare-up were ranked highest and second highest, respectively. However, the relative importance of the other two attributes varied by preferred therapy: treatment regimen was ranked higher by participants who preferred as-needed treatment than by participants who preferred maintenance treatment.

Conclusions: Knowledge of patient preferences for treatment attributes together with regimen characteristics can be used in shared decision-making regarding choice of treatment for patients with mild-moderate asthma.

Trial Registration Number: ACTRN12616000377437.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/thoraxjnl-2019-214343DOI Listing
October 2020

Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Adolescent and Adult Asthma Guidelines 2020: a quick reference guide.

N Z Med J 2020 06 26;133(1517):73-99. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

University of Otago, Dunedin.

The purpose of the 2020 Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ Adolescent and Adult Asthma Guidelines is to provide simple, practical and evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis, assessment and management of asthma in adolescents and adults (aged 12 and over) in a quick reference format. The intended users are health professionals responsible for delivering asthma care in the community and hospital settings, and those responsible for the training of such health professionals. The main changes in the 2020 update are: 1) combining the recommendations for both adolescents and adults in a single document, 2) the recommendation to avoid SABA-only treatment in the long-term management of asthma, 3) the use of budesonide/formoterol reliever, with or without maintenance budesonide/formoterol, is preferred to SABA reliever, with or without maintenance ICS or ICS/LABA, across the spectrum of asthma severity, 4) introduction of the terminology 'anti-inflammatory reliever (AIR)' therapy to describe the use of budesonide/formoterol as a reliever medication, with or without maintenance budesonide/ formoterol therapy. This approach encompasses and extends the 'Single combination ICS/LABA inhaler Maintenance And Reliever Therapy' (SMART) approach recommended in the previous guideline, 5) the inclusion of two stepwise management algorithms, 6) a clinical allergy section, 7) the role of LAMA therapy in severe asthma, 8) the role of omalizumab in severe allergic asthma and mepolizumab in severe eosinophilic asthma, 9) an appendix detailing educational materials.
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June 2020