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Feasibility study: honey for treatment of cough in children

Naveed Ahmed, Alastair Sutcliffe, Claire Tipper
  • Naveed Ahmed
    Univeristy College London Medical School, London, United Kingdom
  • Alastair Sutcliffe
    General and Adolescent Paediatric Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom
  • Claire Tipper
    General and Adolescent Paediatric Unit, Institute of Child Health, University College London, United Kingdom | c.tipper@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Respiratory tract infections are an important health problem because of high incidence and economic costs. The World Health Organization identifies honey as a potential demulcent treatment for cough. The aim of this study is to determine: i) patient public perceptions towards a proposed randomized controlled trial (RCT) comparing the effects of honey to placebo for treatment of cough in children; ii) potential participation rates for proposed trial; iii) whether age and gender of parent or child impacts on proposed cough assessment tools. Forty adult participants with children age 1-6 years presenting with an upper respiratory tract infection were enrolled. They underwent a structured interview regarding the proposed trial and assessed their child’s cough using two validated questionnaires. Eighty-eight percent of those recruited were willing to participate in the proposed trial. The two independently validated cough scores correlated well. A relationship between age and gender of child or parent with cough assessment score was not found. We conclude that a RCT to determine the effects of honey versus placebo is feasible. The public find the outcome measures and trial design acceptable.

Keywords

upper respiratory infections, common cold, pediatrics, primary care, community medicine, common illnesses

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Submitted: 2013-03-05 11:13:52
Published: 2013-06-20 10:05:16
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