Exploring the experiences of older adults living with asthma in the United Kingdom: A co-produced qualitative study

Tracy Jackson, Flora Flinn, Lewis Rafferty, Elisabeth Ehrlich, Monica Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: Older adults are the fastest growing population in the UK, but asthma is often underdiagnosed,
undertreated and poorly self-managed in this population. It is necessary to explore the experiences of older adults
with asthma to identify areas of research that could improve quality of life. This study aimed to explore the
perceptions of older adults in the UK living with asthma and how it impacts their lives.

Methods: Telephone interviews were conducted with 15 adults with General Practitioner diagnosed asthma, aged
60 years and over, from across the UK. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically
analysed. This study was co-produced with an Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research (AUKCAR) Patient and
Public Involvement Lead and guided by the National Institute for Health Research UK standards for Public
Involvement in Research to ensure meaningful public involvement.

Results: Themes clustered around impact of asthma, managing asthma, interaction with healthcare and under-
standing of asthma. Participants experienced increased physical, psychological and social impacts of asthma
management as they aged which led to feelings of isolation. Competing multimorbidities and polypharmacy
complicate treatment and self-management of asthma. Ageism and a lack of empathy from health care providers
were mentioned by the majority participants. Quality of care varied widely across the UK, however all partici-
pants had seen a healthcare professional for an asthma review in the previous 12 months.

Conclusions: Older adults experience increased challenges in managing their asthma due to increased multi-
morbidities, polypharmacy and ageism from healthcare providers
Original languageEnglish
JournalAging and Health Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aging
  • Asthma
  • Older adults
  • Qualitative methods


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