The Acceptability Trial

Until I came to Malawi and began working on Professor Ickes’ PUFA study, I had never conducted (or or heard of, for that matter) an acceptability trial. However, over the last couple weeks, with the help of child nutrition researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, I have been brought up to speed on the ins and outs of such trials. And now, I have developed my own to conduct here in Malawi! Here are the specifics on the trial:

We will conduct the trial at between 6-9 of our clinics over the next 5 weeks, and the trial will have two parts. The first part is a likeability test of the food, where 100 children enrolled with SAM will be randomized to receive either Chiponde (standard of care) or PUFA study food. The children will be fed 30g of either food on-site at their clinic (I will administer the food), and a time-to-eat and likeability survey will be completed when they leave. This portion of the trial will be held at our bigger clinics, including our clinics with high numbers of children who come over from Mozambique.

The second part of the trial will be a 3-day acceptability test. 60 SAM children will be randomized to receive either receive Chiponde or PUFA food. They will receive 3 sachets of either food to eat once/day over for 3 days. They will eat 30g of their first sachet on site, and mothers will complete a likeability survey, as well as complete enrollment forms. The mothers will bring their child back on day 4, and we will conduct a final acceptability survey and provide them with a small gift to thank them for participating.

I will be present at all PUFA study sites, as well as return visits, with a nurse to help me with the enrollment and surveys.

The data we collect from this acceptability trial will instrumental to deciding if this new PUFA recipe will be accepted by the children and should be used for the larger study.

I’m excited to begin working on this portion of the study on Monday! I will report back once it has started.