BACKGROUND: Bronchiectasis is an incurable lung disease characterised by irreversible airway dilatation. It causes symptoms including chronic productive cough, dyspnoea, and recurrent respiratory infections often requiring hospital admission. Fatigue and reductions in quality of life are also reported in bronchiectasis. Patients often require multi-modal treatments that can be burdensome, leading to issues with adherence. In this article we review the provision of, and requirement for, education and information in bronchiectasis.
DISCUSSION: To date, little research has been undertaken to improve self-management in bronchiectasis in comparison to other chronic conditions, such as COPD, for which there has been a wealth of recent developments. Qualitative work has begun to establish that information deficit is one of the potential barriers to self-management, and that patients feel having credible information is fundamental when learning to live with and manage bronchiectasis. Emerging research offers some insights into ways of improving treatment adherence and approaches to self-management education; highlighting ways of addressing the specific unmet information needs of patients and their families who are living with bronchiectasis.
CONCLUSIONS: We propose non-pharmacological recommendations to optimise patient self-management and symptom recognition; with the aim of facilitating measurable improvements in health outcomes for patients with bronchiectasis.