Table 2

 Baseline characteristics of schools and children in the trial

ImmediateDelayed
SD, standard deviation; FEV1, forced expiratory volume in one second; FVC, forced vital capacity; MEF25–75, mid-expiratory flow rate. *Excludes six children (two in the immediate group, four in the delayed) not regularly using inhalers.
Characteristics of schoolsn = 11n = 11
    Number of pupils; mean (range)390 (132 to 1016)313 (176 to 575)
    Receiving free school meals (%); mean (range)32% (3 to 72%)22% (3 to 54%)
Characteristics of childrenn = 81n = 92
    Demography
        Boys; n (%)37 (45%)53 (58%)
        Age (years); mean (SD)9.01 (0.74)8.99 (0.92)
        Height (m); mean (SD)1.33 (0.07)1.34 (0.08)
    Current therapy
        Regular reliever; n (%)32 (40%)37 (40%)
        Regular preventer; n (%)46 (57%)52 (57%)
        Regular preventer (verified); n (%)24 (30%)29 (32%)
        Reliever in school; n (%)20 (25%)45 (49%)
        Reliever in school (verified); n (%)14 (17%)19 (21%)
        Self management plan; n (%)4 (5%)8 (9%)
        Prescribed peak flow meter; n (%)10 (12%)24 (26%)
    Paediatric Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire
        Overall score (range 1–7); mean (SD)4.9 (1.1)4.9 (1.1)
        Activity limitation score (range 1–7); mean (SD)4.9 (1.2)5.1 (1.1)
        Symptoms score (range 1–7); mean (SD)4.8 (1.2)4.7 (1.3)
        Emotional function score (range 1–7); mean (SD)5.0 (1.2)5.1 (1.2)
    Spirometry
        FEV1 % predicted; mean (SD)99.8 (14.0)98.1 (13.2)
        FVC % predicted; mean (SD)98.7 (12.1)98.6 (10.7)
        MEF25–75 % predicted; mean (SD)83.9 (23.4)81.2 (23.4)
        FEV1 <80% predicted; n (%)4 (5%)6 (7%)
    Inhaler technique*
        Correct; n (%)14 (18%)13 (15%)
        Correct and partially correct; n (%)39 (49%)35 (40%)