Understanding the factors affecting self-management of COPD from the perspectives of healthcare practitioners: a qualitative study

Oladapo J. Ogunbayo, Sian Russell, James J. Newham, Karen Heslop-Marshall, Paul Netts, Barbara Hanratty, Eileen Kaner

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    Self-management is recognised as an essential criteria for the provision of high quality care for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The management of COPD is usually delivered by a wide range of healthcare practitioners. This study aimed to understand the factors affecting self-management of COPD from the perspectives of the different multidisciplinary healthcare teams involved in COPD care. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants from primary care, specialist respiratory and pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) teams. Purposive sampling and snowballing were employed in participant recruitment. All interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim and data were analysed thematically. A total of 20 participants (eight primary care practitioners, seven respiratory specialists and five PR practitioners) were interviewed until data saturation was reached. Participants identified a range of complex and interrelated factors affecting COPD self-management that were grouped into three broad categories-patient, practitioner and organisational/system-level factors. Patient-level factors were predominantly considered as barriers, with COPD knowledge and understanding, and the individual patients' life circumstances/context being the most prominent issues. Practitioner-level factors identified were practitioners' speciality, interest and experience in respiratory conditions as the overarching factor that influenced how self-management was understood and practiced. A number of organisational/system-level factors were identified by all practitioners, including inconsistency of referral pathways and the wide variations of different self-management planning tools. Factors affecting self-management of COPD across these three levels need to be tackled equally in order to improve the effectiveness of interventions and to embed and integrate self-management support approaches into routine practice.CHRONIC LUNG DISEASE: A BALANCED APPROACH FOR IMPROVED SELF-MANAGEMENT: Better co-ordination between healthcare services, practitioners and patients may help improve self-management for chronic lung disease. Self-management is crucial for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but it can be difficult for healthcare workers to monitor and support patient progress. Oladapo Ogunbayo at Newcastle University, UK, and co-workers conducted interviews with healthcare practitioners to explore perceived barriers to successful self-management of COPD. Three distinct categories emerged; those at patient level, practitioner level and organisational level, the needs of which should be carefully balanced to improved self-management. Patient knowledge and understanding of COPD, alongside individual life circumstances, were often barriers to effective self-care. Those practitioners with specialist respiratory knowledge took a more holistic approach to self-management than their primary care counterparts. A lack of continuity between services and across self-management planning tools presented further barriers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)54
    Number of pages1
    Journalnpj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 18 Sept 2017


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