Published: 24 February 2020

Authors: Catherine Ann Byrnes, Adrian Trenholme, Shirley Lawrence, Harley Aish, Julie Anne Higham, Karen Hoare, Aileen Elborough, Charissa McBride, Lyndsay Le Comte, Christine McIntosh, Florina Chan Mow, Mirjana Jaksic, Russell Metcalfe et al.

Source: This abstract has been sourced from NZ Respiratory Research Review Issue 179


    Background Hospitalisation with severe lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) in early childhood is associated with ongoing respiratory symptoms and possible later development of bronchiectasis. We aimed to reduce this intermediate respiratory morbidity with a community intervention programme at time of discharge.

    Methods This randomised, controlled, single-blind trial enrolled children aged <2 years hospitalised for severe LRTI to ‘intervention’ or ‘control’. Intervention was three monthly community clinics treating wet cough with prolonged antibiotics referring non-responders. All other health issues were addressed, and health resilience behaviours were encouraged, with referrals for housing or smoking concerns. Controls followed the usual pathway of parent-initiated healthcare access. After 24 months, all children were assessed by a paediatrician blinded to randomisation for primary outcomes of wet cough, abnormal examination (crackles or clubbing) or chest X-ray Brasfield score ≤22.

    Findings 400 children (203 intervention, 197 control) were enrolled in 2011–2012; mean age 6.9 months, 230 boys, 87% Maori/Pasifika ethnicity and 83% from the most deprived quintile. Final assessment of 321/400 (80.3%) showed no differences in presence of wet cough (33.9% intervention, 36.5% controls, relative risk (RR) 0.93, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.25), abnormal examination (21.7% intervention, 23.9% controls, RR 0.92, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.38) or Brasfield score ≤22 (32.4% intervention, 37.9% control, RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.17). Twelve (all intervention) were diagnosed with bronchiectasis within this timeframe.

    Interpretation We have identified children at high risk of ongoing respiratory disease following hospital admission with severe LRTI in whom this intervention programme did not change outcomes over 2 years.

    Trial registration number ACTRN12610001095055.

    This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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