The preferences of people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease for self-management support: A qualitative descriptive study
McCarthy, Vera J. C.
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Aims and objectives: The aim of this study was to explore and describe the self-management support (SMS) preferences of adults with asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Background: Self-management support interventions have had beneficial outcomes for people with asthma and people with COPD, though challenges remain in their implementation. Increased understanding of the support preferences of people with asthma/COPD can help inform the development of future interventions to address patients' preferences. Design: A qualitative descriptive design was used. Methods: Semi-structured focus group and individual interviews were conducted with 20 adult participants who had asthma and/or COPD in Ireland. Qualitative content analysis was used to analyse interviews. The SRQR reporting guideline was used. Results: Three themes were identified. Support accessibility included having access to routine and unscheduled support from healthcare professionals with specialist knowledge. Consultation content described the need for comprehensive and person-centred support. The person–provider relationship described the value of healthcare professionals acknowledging patient concerns, noted as a challenge for people with asthma, and continuity in relationships over time. Conclusions: Routine support for people with asthma/COPD needs to be comprehensive in addressing the individual patient's challenges. Access to timely advice during exacerbations was a priority for people with asthma/COPD, suggesting that flexible access to services as well as routine review may be optimal for supporting self-management of asthma/COPD. Feeling listened to regarding symptoms experienced may be of intrinsic value to people with asthma/COPD. Relevance to clinical practice: The study emphasises the importance of continued training in communications skills for healthcare professionals supporting people with asthma/COPD, particularly acknowledging the patient's concerns in the context of symptom changes/flare-up. A respiratory nurse specialist was valued as being a care coordinator who could support routine management as well as managing exacerbations, having specialist knowledge and knowing the patient over time.
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