A Primary care trial of an Infection control website to Modify Influenza-like illness (ILI) and RTI Transmission

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Community Clinical Sciences


Since most people will experience one or more respiratory tract infections each winter, this study has the potential to results in significant engagement with the results of science. The method we have chosen for intervention (an interactive website) will be available to the whole nation and thus could have a major impact both on the public appreciation of research, and allow the public to see very directly the help from applied science in their daily lives.

Technical Summary

Minimising the spread of respiratory infections and influenza within families could have benefit for both patients and the health service, both in normal winter seasons and should an influenza pandemic arise.
Development phase (18 months): During this phase we will a) perform qualitative and survey work to determine the key anxieties, concerns, attitudes and beliefs related to influenza, pandemic influenza, and infection control behaviour, and b) then develop and pilot the intervention and outcome measures.
For the main trial adult patients (aged 18+) living with at least one other person will be randomised to:
1) Provision of access to an interactive website by a personal password: the targeted behaviours will be handwashing throughout the winter months and in addition when a respiratory infection occurs, a range of infection control measures;
or 2) Normal care (and no access to the website until the end of the trial)
The outcomes are: transmission of ILI and other infections between index case and family members, severity and duration of ILI and other respiratory infections, attitudes and adherence to infection control recommendations, and health service utilisation.
A nested viral study will: assess whether ILI reported by participants is laboratory confirmed influenza; estimate whether the transmission characteristics within families differ according to the type of viral illness; and provide estimates of the predictive value of clinical symptoms and signs for laboratory diagnosis according to the spectrum of illness (defined by contact with the NHS and prior duration of illness).
Guideline Title Improving Antibiotic Prescribing for Uncomplicated Acute Respiratory Tract Infections
Description AHRQ guidance on reducign antibiotic prescribing
Geographic Reach North America 
Policy Influence Type Citation in clinical guidelines
Guideline Title NICE guideline for back pain
Description NICE back pain guideline
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in clinical guidelines
Description Pandemic flu guidance
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
Description uptake of 'Germ Defence'
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our handwashing intervention ('Germ defence') prevents RTIs and GI infections (trialled in 20000 patients): we have engaged 42 Local Authorities, 13 Health support groups and 3 school networks, and NICE, BLF and Macmillan have all supported using it.
Description use of POWeR in practice
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact POWeR has currently been taken up by 4 Local Authorities and 1 CCG (a population of 1.5 million)
Description use of an app
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The FeverPAIN algorithm reduces antibiotic use and improves symptom control, an app allowing easy calculation of the risk of strep infection is hosted on Oxford CTU site and has been used several hundred thousand times, and has now been incorporated into routinely used GP consultation systems
Title web-site to reduce flu transmission within families 
Description We have developed the website, performed the trial, and published the findings 
Type Preventative Intervention - Physical/Biological risk modification
Current Stage Of Development Early clinical assessment
Year Development Stage Completed 2009
Development Status Under active development/distribution
Clinical Trial? Yes
UKCRN/ISCTN Identifier 09/800/22
Impact N/A 
URL https://pips.ecs.soton.ac.uk/player/play/primitdemo