Investigating the possible role of Andrographis paniculata as a symptomatic intervention for acute respiratory tract infections: a qualitative study exploring the attitudes and beliefs of health professionals around the use of herbal medicines to treat acute respiratory tract infections (RTIs)
1 April 2017 to 30 April 2018
Project No: 371
Funding round: FR 13
Respiratory tract infections such as cough, sore throat and sinusitis are common, distressing, and costly for individuals, employers and the NHS. Current treatments such as antibiotics and cough medicines have limited benefits.
Widespread use of antibiotics has led to increasing numbers of infections from bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. A recent government report suggested it is necessary to seek alternative treatments to antibiotics. Several studies have shown that the herb Andrographis paniculata (AP), when compared with placebo (dummy medicine), helps to reduce the intensity and length of time patients experienced symptoms from respiratory tract infections.
We will interview health professionals to find out more about their views around using herbal medicines for respiratory tract infections. This will inform the design of a study, which will evaluate the use of Andrographis capsules amongst adults who visit their GP with acute respiratory symptoms. This will be for people that the GP think have an infection (bacterial or viral) but NOT pneumonia. The doctor will be able to prescribe antibiotics if needed.
We will ask health professionals such as GPs and Practice Nurses to take part in interviews about using herbal medicines for respiratory tract infections.
What will the study show?
We will interview GPs and Practice Nurses in order to understand the issues around the safety and acceptability of using herbal medicines for respiratory tract infections in primary care. This will help us to identify potential barriers to carrying out this study, develop patient information leaflets and design a future feasibility study to test the effectiveness of Andrographis for treating the symptoms of respiratory tract infections.
Patient and public involvement
A PPI representative has been involved in the design of this study through the Research Design Service
Amount awarded: £3,000