Dr Alexandra Wallace
Dr Alexandra Wallace
Paediatrics, Child and Youth Health
All research projects

Trialing shorter treatments for preschool children with asthma (STAR study)

Awarded $109,655 in funding
Over 3 years, starting in 2023

Trialing shorter treatments for preschool children with asthma (STAR study)

Asthma is the most common illness of childhood, and rates are particularly high in Aotearoa NZ. Children younger than 5 years have the highest burden of disease.

Preschool wheeze is often treated similarly to asthma in older children, with 3 days of oral steroids for moderate or severe episodes. Māori and Pacific children have wheeze more often than other children, and are three times more likely to require hospitalisation. Some preschoolers experience recurrent wheeze and receive several courses of steroids every year.

This study is triggered by recent evidence which suggests that preschool children with wheeze might only need 1 day of steroid medication. The researchers will compare outcomes after treatment for 1 or 3 days. If the study proves that the shorter course is safe and effective, guidelines will be changed, to simplify treatment, and reduce the risks of side-effects.

This double-blind randomised controlled trial will be run at multiple sites, including Waikato Hospital (where Dr Alexandra Wallace is based).

Help fund our big research.

Every bit helps.