Reduce Carbon Study
NHS Portsmouth Hospitals

A randomised controlled trial to explore knowledge, views and behaviours surrounding inhaler selection and whether knowledge of the carbon footprint of inhalers is important to patients.

You are being invited to take part in the REDUCE-Carbon for Patients study which has been designed by the Asthma team at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth in collaboration with colleagues across the Wessex Asthma Network.

Inhalers are the cornerstone of treatment for many lung conditions and are commonly used across the UK. There are a large number of inhalers and choosing the most appropriate one to meet individual needs can be challenging. A number of factors are usually considered, including ability of the patient to use the device and cost. The total carbon footprint of the NHS accounts for 4-5% of the total UK carbon emissions and, it is becoming more recognised that inhalers have a significant impact on global warming, predominantly driven by the propellant gases used in metered dose inhalers (‘pump’ inhalers), but up until now their environmental impact has not routinely been considered when choosing an inhaler.

You have been invited to take part because you regularly use an inhaler to treat a diagnosed respiratory condition. We are looking to better understand whether patients are aware of the environmental impact of inhalers, whether the carbon footprint of inhalers is important to you and how this information should be made available.

You must be 18 years or older to take part.

What will happen if I take part?

You will be asked to complete an online questionnaire made up of a mix of questions and very simple case scenarios. We would like to collect some information about you including your age, respiratory diagnosis, the frequency with which you use an inhaler and the number and type of inhalers you use each day. We have included questions to understand attitudes towards and current knowledge of the carbon footprint of inhalers and whether you feel this is something that should be included in discussions around inhaler choice and treatment options as well as the importance of this when compared to other factors sometimes discussed such as frequency of dosing and cost of inhalers.

We have also devised 2 very simple case scenarios which are not a test of knowledge, and you will be automatically randomised into one of two groups (half of the participants completing the survey will have the carbon footprint of each inhaler, half of participants will not have the carbon footprint information). We would also like to collect information about what you do with your inhalers when they are finished with them.

It is completed online using either your smart phone, smart device (such as an iPad or tablet) or computer, however if you do not have access to one of these devices we can provide an iPad for you to be able to take part. It should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete.

How will you use the information?

You will not be asked to provide any personally identifiable information and it will not be possible to identify who has completed the questionnaire. Once we have finished the study, we will keep the answers to the questionnaires for 5 years so we can check the results. We will write our reports in a way that no-one can work out that you took part in the study.

What if I change my mind?

You can stop being part of the study before submitting the questionnaire without giving a reason. However once you have submitted the answers to the questionnaire it will not be possible to change your responses or withdraw your completed questionnaire from the research database as they are anonymous.

What will happen to the results of the research study?

The results will be published but there will be no way of identifying you or your data from the published results. The published data will also be available on the Wessex Asthma Network Website.

Who is funding the research?

The REDUCE-Carbon for Patients study is being funded by Respiaction and Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust are sponsoring the study.

Who has reviewed the study?

This study is HRA approved and has been approved by Research and Development departments across the region.

Contact details

Tel: 02392 286000 ext 4108

Chief Investigator
Dr Thomas Brown,
Department of Research and Innovation,
Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Thank you for taking the time to read this information sheet. If you would like to take part, please confirm the following statements and then click the Start button below.