Create an information sheet for the following study

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**Study Information Sheet for Parents**

*Title of Study:* Assessing the Impact of Desert Dust Storms on Asthma Exacerbations in Pediatric Population in Cyprus: A Cohort Study

**Objective of the Study:**
To investigate the association between exposure to desert dust storms and asthma exacerbations in children aged 6-12 years diagnosed with asthma in the Republic of Cyprus, while accounting for potential environmental factors, asthma severity, and medication use.

**Background and Justification:**
Dust storms pose a significant public health threat in Cyprus, particularly in the Eastern Mediterranean region where Desert Dust Storm (DDS) days account for approximately 10-15% of the days in a year, primarily occurring between February and May. Children with asthma are among the most vulnerable groups to DDS exposure, with approximately 5% of the pediatric population in Cyprus diagnosed with asthma. Given the urgency for understanding the impact of dust storms on respiratory health in this population, this study aims to shed light on the relationship between dust storm exposure and asthma exacerbations.

**Study Population:**
Children aged 6 – 12 years diagnosed with asthma, residing in the Southern part of Cyprus.

**Recruitment Methods:**
Collaboration with healthcare facilities, specifically pediatricians.

**Inclusion Criteria:**
- Children aged 6-12 years.
- Confirmed diagnosis of asthma documented in medical records.
- Residence in Cyprus (Southern part).
- Willingness to participate in the study.
- Ability to understand study procedures and provide informed consent (Greek / English).

**Exclusion Criteria:**
- Children with other significant respiratory conditions besides asthma.
- Inability to understand study procedures or provide informed consent (e.g., severe cognitive impairment).

**Study Design:**
Prospective Cohort Study.

Asthma exacerbations documented through medical records or participant-reported symptoms.

PM2.5 levels.

**Study Duration:**
6 months to 1 year.

**Follow-up Assessments:**
Regular intervals scheduled throughout the study period to capture seasonal variations in dust storm activity and asthma exacerbations.

**Follow-up Frequency:**
Determined by dust storm occurrences and duration of asthma exacerbations, considering participant burden and resource availability.

**Data Collection:**
- Data from pediatricians.
- National data of air quality of Cyprus (Labor inspection) on a daily basis during the study period, focusing more on the period between February and May.
- Questionnaires, including the Childhood Asthma Control Test, accessible through a dedicated website for ease of completion by parents.

**Variables to be Collected:**
- Asthma symptoms: frequency, severity, and symptoms requiring medical intervention.
- Dust storm exposure: data on the occurrence and intensity of dust storms in the study area.
- Environmental factors: temperature, humidity, and pollen counts.
- Participant demographics: age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and residential address.
- Asthma severity and control using the Childhood Asthma Control Test.
- Medication use.
- Other relevant covariates: exposure to tobacco smoke (if family members smoke), outdoor activities, and household characteristics (e.g., carpets), frequency of cleaning in the house.

**Website for Questionnaire:**
Parents can access the questionnaire through the following link: [Link to the questionnaire website]

Thank you for considering participating in our study. Your contribution is invaluable to advancing our understanding of asthma exacerbations in relation to desert dust storms in Cyprus. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact [Researcher/Contact Information].


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