Huge thank you to ARNS for the bursary that I have received to attend BTS Winter Meeting 2023. Attending the conference was an extraordinary experience that allowed me to further my knowledge about paediatric asthma, which is at the heart of my PhD project. I also had an opportunity to network and meet researchers in the field. I wanted to share with you some of the sessions I’ve personally found interesting during the conference.
I particularly enjoyed the session by Dr Durrington, exploring the impact of circadian rhythm on asthma. Asthma is considered a “highly rhythmic” disease, and it was suggested that due that we should perhaps better time investigations such as peak flow, FeNO measurement and spirometry to get most accurate results. Also, the research indicated that, interestingly, the greatest reduction in FeNO results and improvement in lung function volumes can be achieved when the inhaled corticosteroids are administered at 4pm in the afternoon. Will we need to revise our practice in the future? I will definitely be following Dr Durrington and her research as it’s indeed fascinating to explore the role of circadian rhythm in asthma.
Other highlight of this year’s conference included spoken session on developing a quality-of-life outcome measure for paediatric patients with severe asthma presented by Anna Rattu. Through qualitative interviews with patients, parents/carers and healthcare professionals the existing Severe asthma questionnaire (SAQ) was assessed for relevancy for paediatric population and a prototype for Paediatric SAQ (PSAQ) was created. Further research will validate the PSAQ.
As always, during the BTS Winter Meeting there was something for everyone: sessions on asthma, COPD, bronchiectasis, ILD, pulmonary rehabilitation, thoracic malignancy, sleep disorders and many, many more. I will be looking forward to the Summer Meeting to further my knowledge in respiratory disease and continue meeting researchers actively working on improving respiratory care in the UK and tackle health inequalities.
Aleksandra Gawlik-Lipinski, Vice Chair of the ARNS Research and Education Sub Committee