Effectiveness of hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling (HSNIG) in upper respiratory tract infections: a pilot randomised controlled trial

Organisation : Department of Laboratory Medicine, RIE
Grant Amount : £ 35,491
Project Dates : August 2014 to February 2018

Viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) have a significant impact on individuals, families, health service and economy.

There are currently no evidence-based interventions that reduce the duration of symptoms or infectivity. Preliminary evidence suggests that hypertonic saline nasal irrigation and gargling (HSNIG) may reduce symptoms and infectivity.

We propose a pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) comparing HSNIG vs usual care (no-intervention) on 60 healthy adults with URTI to answer the following questions: effectiveness of recruitment strategies and feedback methods; acceptability of nasal irrigation; compliance with procedures; is there a trend towards reduction in symptoms / viral shedding.

A qualitative questionnaire will help assess intervention and trial procedures. Information from this pilot will help plan a definitive RCT of this low-cost intervention.