To find out more about current children's studies you can view a list of studies on the NIHR Clinical Research Network Portfolio Database.
Working with the Life Sciences
The NIHR Clinical Research Network Children has been enormously successful in integrating clinical research into NHS clinical service provision, and both developing and delivering a large practice changing portfolio of clinical trials.
As the most integrated clinical research system in the world, the NIHR supports research studies through our funding programmes, training and supporting health researchers, and providing world-class research facilities. We also support dialogue between the life sciences industry and charities to benefit all, and facilitate the involvement of patients and the public to make research more effective.
Last year (2017/2018) the NIHR supported 698 studies on Children. The NIHR supported these studies through our funding programmes and our research schools and units. We also support Children's research through our research infrastructure and our training and career development awards for researchers.
The first-choice flu vaccine (known as LAIV) is the most effective available and is administered through a nasal spray, which most parents and children prefer to an injection. However it can contain small amounts of egg protein, meaning that it was previously considered unsuitable for children with an egg allergy. Egg allergy is one of the most common allergies in early childhood, affecting at least one in 50 preschool children.
In the SNIFFLE study, doctors investigated whether the LAIV vaccine was suitable for use in egg-allergic children by giving them the vaccine and closely monitoring them for ill effects afterwards. In total 1,061 children were vaccinated and researchers noted that none suffered from systemic allergic reactions afterwards.
This now means that egg-allergic children can receive the flu vaccine in primary care or in school as part of the national immunisation programme which has led to considerable cost-saving for the NHS.
Read more about the SNIFFLE studies.
Assessing a child for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has typically relied on the clinician’s judgement alongside teacher and parent reports with contradictions in these often leading to delays in diagnosis.
QbTest is a commercially available computer test that measures ADHD symptoms through the combination of a cognitive test designed to measure attention and impulse control, and a motion tracking system to measure hyperactivity.
The AQUA trial set out to put QbTest through its paces asking whether its use could accelerate time to diagnosis. Qualitative interviews and survey data stemming from this research found the test was particularly valued for providing an objective assessment of symptoms. The clinicians were unanimous about the usefulness of the test, finding it helpful to understand symptoms.
The AQUA trial was funded by the NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (CLAHRC) East Midlands, with support from the NIHR MindTech MedTech Co-operative.
Non-invasive ventilation is the delivery of breathing support via a facemask. Evidence shows that it improves respiratory symptoms, which in turn benefits quality of life and life expectancy.
In non-invasive ventilation, ventilation is delivered through a mask covering the nose or nose and mouth. A good fit with a seal around the mask is needed to deliver the treatment effectively.
Mass-produced masks are available for the adult market, but in young children and infants it is often difficult to find a mask that fits adequately. The NIHR Devices for Dignity MedTech Co-operative has supported the development of customised non-invasive ventilation interfaces for children for whom current commercial masks are unavailable or unsuitable. These customised masks can save lives by improving ventilation therapies and reduce complications.
Researchers funded by the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme have developed a robot to help children with autism.
Kaspar is a child-sized, socially interactive robot developed by the University of Hertfordshire to help children with autism. It uses realistic but simplified human-like features to help them learn how to socialise, interact and communicate.
This study will work with children aged 5-10 years old who have recently been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the first trial to test Kaspar in the NHS.
You can find out more about Children’s studies in your area through the UK Clinical Trials Gateway.