Project to accurately identify childhood wheeze to improve clinical outcomes

Identifying childhood wheeze

Professor Anne Chang and team have received $749,917 to define wheeze, the breath sound which may indicate asthma in children, from the Medical Research Future Fund’s Assessment of High-cost Gene Treatments and Digital Health Interventions grants.

Professor Chang, who is the lead researcher in the QUT Cough and Airways Research Group at the Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation (AusHSI), and the research team will address the challenges of identifying wheeze by parents and the disagreement between parents and doctors of what constitutes a wheeze.

“Asthma is the most common chronic childhood illness with around 50 per cent of pre-school age children having had an episode of wheeze and 40 per cent of children having recurrent wheeze,” Professor Chang said.

“Our multi-centre study will tackle the need to define wheeze accurately with portable digital technology, WheezeScan (WzS), to objectively detect wheeze.

“Our study will involve using WzS in clinics, children’s homes, Indigenous Outreach and hospital clinics in Queensland, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Darwin and Sydney to improve detection and management of preschool wheeze and provide an accurate diagnosis of reversible airway obstruction/asthma.”

The research team on the project, “Improving the management and outcomes of preschool wheeze and paediatric asthma: a multi-centre cohort study”, comprises: Professor ChangProfessor Stephanie YerkovichAssociate Professor Julie MarchantDr Vikas Goyal,  Dr Hannah O’Farrell and Professor Steven McPhail (Queensland University of Technology); Professor Keith Grimwood, Associate Professor Shane George (Griffith University); Professor Jonathan Grigg (Queen Mary University of London); Professor Hiran Selvadurai (Children’s Hospital at Westmead); Lesley Versteegh, Professor Peter Morris, Dr Gabrielle McCallum (Menzies School of Health Research); and Leanne Elliot-Holmes (Asthma Foundation of Northern Territory).

Read the QUT news story.

(Pictured above, from left: Professor Steven McPhail, Dr Stephanie Yerkovich, Dr Hannah O’Farrell, Professor Anne Chang, Associate Professor Julie Marchant and Dr Vikas Goyal).

Media contacts
Australian Centre for Health Services Innovation: Sian Conway Lamb, 07 3138 6087,

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