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  • The Global Asthma Network strives for a world where no-one suffers from asthma

  • The Global Asthma Network is the asthma surveillance hub for the world

  • The Global Asthma Network researches ways of reducing the burden of asthma

  • The Global Asthma Network promotes access to appropriate asthma management

  • The Global Asthma Network stimulates and encourages capacity building in LMICs

  • The Global Asthma Network strives to ensure access to quality-assured essential asthma medications

  • The Global Asthma Network raises the profile of asthma as a major NCD

15. Model for approaching schools and Additional Information for Fieldwork

What follows is one example of an approach to schools. Centres must proceed according to their local rules. A final goal should be a high participation rate.

Once local Ethics Committee approval has been obtained, the Principal of each school will be approached for his/her cooperation with the study. It may be helpful to offer to meet the staff to explain the study to them. An informal meeting at the morning break can be a good way to gain acceptance from the teaching staff. The data collection can then commence at a time to suit the school. It is very important that asthma, allergies, rhinitis and eczema are not explicitly mentioned to school staff, pupils and parents in relationship to the study.

It is also very important that any logo used on the questionnaire, or letters to schools, parents does not mention asthma, rhinitis and eczema. For example, the Global Asthma Network logo must not be used on any stationary sent to the school. Wording such as ‘breathing, nose and skin problems’ is acceptable (see demographic questions in section 20 for an example).

Height and weight measurements (strongly recommended) (see section 20.4 for the protocol for measuring height and weight).

  • 13/14 year olds
    Ideally these measurements will be taken at school following the video questionnaire. This will enable the questionnaires to be quickly checked at the same time for errors or omissions.

  • 6/7 year olds
    The measurements should be taken when the completed questionnaire is returned to school. The logistics of undertaking this should be discussed with the school.

Additional Fieldwork Information

  • Translations must follow instructions in section 18 of the manual and a copy sent to the GAN Global Centre in with back translation to English.
  • Not every centre will wish to use every question – some centres will use every question and some centres may choose to include only some of the non-compulsory questions.
  • 13-14 years: Q1-30 compulsory; Q31-48 strongly recommended.
  • 6-7 years: Q1-33 compulsory (if this age group included); Q34-68 strongly recommended.
  • Adults: Q1-24 compulsory (if this age group included); Q25-42 strongly recommended.
NOTE: Please refer to the data and coding section 19.2.2 for instructions on how to deal with data entry when excluding some questions.

15.1  Sample information letter for schools (13/14 year old age group)

Dear Chairman of Board of Trustees/Principal/Teachers

re:        (your country of study) Health Survey

We are inviting some children at your school and their parents/guardians to take part in an important international study. Many schools in (your centre name) have taken part in a previous study similar to this, and by using random sampling techniques, your school has been selected. We wish to involve children aged 13 and 14 years to understand more about the increasing problem of respiratory symptoms and the environment in children of this age group.
This survey is being carried out in other areas of (your country name) and many overseas countries (more than 100 countries are expected to participate). The (your centre name) survey is being funded by (your funding source).
For your school, it would mean:

  1. Identifying classes in which 13/14 year olds are found and making available a copy of the class lists with date of birth and gender (confidential information for research purposes only which is permitted by the NZ (your country name) 1994 Health Information Privacy Code).
  2. One of our research team would bring information letters (copies enclosed) to be distributed to the selected children to be taken home.
  3. We would return a week later to ask these children to complete written questionnaires (copy enclosed) and to watch a 6 minute video about exercise and breathing. We would require about 40 minutes in total. The participants will then be asked to take questionnaires home for parent/guardian completion about their own health.
  4. We would come back about a week later, with the questionnaires and video and ask any children who were absent on the first occasion to complete the survey and to collect the adult questionnaires.

One of our research team will be in contact with you soon to discuss this survey further. In the meantime if there is any further information you require about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me (name of field worker) by ringing xxx xxxx.

This survey has the approval of the (name of your local ethics committee), the Chair of which you can contact directly with any enquiries, phone xxx xxxx.

Yours sincerely

NAME(S) and ADDRESS(ES)

Ethical Approval statement from your ethics committee: For example

APPROVED BY (name of your local ethics committee) on DATE for a period of three years from DATE. Reference XXXXX

15.2  Sample information letter for schools (6/7 year old age group)

Dear Chairman of Board of Trustees/Principal/Teachers

re:        (your country of study) Health Survey

We are inviting some children at your school and their parents/guardians to take part in an important international study. Many schools in (your centre name) have taken part in a previous study similar to this, and by using random sampling techniques, your school has been selected. We wish to involve parents of children aged 6 to 7 years to understand more about the increasing problem of respiratory symptoms and the environment in children of this age group.
This survey is being carried out in other areas of (your country name) and many overseas countries (more than 100 countries are expected to participate). The (your centre name) survey is being funded by (your funding source).
For your school, it would mean:

  1. Identifying classes in which 6/7 year olds are found and making available a copy of the class lists with date of birth and gender (confidential information for research purposes only which is permitted by the NZ (your country name) (your Health Information Privacy Code if applicable).
  2. One of our research team will then come and name each questionnaire and distribute them by class to be taken home. An information letter will be included (copies included).
  3. The parents/guardians of the children will be asked to complete the questionnaires and return them to your school. These will be collected from your school by the researcher.
  4. We would follow-up any non-returned forms.

One of our research team will be in contact with you soon to discuss this survey further. In the meantime if there is any further information you require about the survey, please do not hesitate to contact me (name of field worker) on xxx xxxx.
This survey has the approval of (name of your local ethics committee), the Chair of which you can contact directly with any enquiries, phone xxx xxx.

Yours sincerely

NAME(S) and ADDRESS(ES)

Ethical Approval statement from your ethics committee: For example

APPROVED BY (name of your local ethics committee) on DATE for a period of three years from DATE. Reference XXXXX