Needs assessment for introducing Pulmonary Rehabilitation for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease management in a rural Indian setting: a qualitative study

Diksha Singh, Harshpreet Kaur, Sudipto Roy, Sanjay Juvekar, Hilary Pinnock, Dhiraj Agarwal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background:
Pulmonary Rehabilitation (PR) is an effective strategy to improve breathlessness, health status and exercise tolerance and to reduce readmissions and mortality. In India, there is no government health program for COPD management while in the private sector availability of PR is limited. Most PR centres are in urban areas, with few services accessible to rural populations. We aimed to assess the need for PR from the perspective of COPD patients and healthcare professionals (HCPs: registered medical practitioners and medical officers) in rural Maharashtra.

Methodology:
Between June and October 2020, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 14 COPD patients and nine HCPs to explore their perceptions of, and need for, PR in rural Maharashtra. Interviews were transcribed and analysed thematically.

Results:
We approached 14 COPD patients and nine HCPs practicing in rural areas. Five HCPs stated that they did not advise PR for COPD patients citing poor compliance to PR referral and follow up of the patients. COPD patients had symptoms and needs that could be helped by PR but commented how transportation would be a problem for them to visit a PR Center. In contrast, they could understand the benefits of PR and expressed their willingness to join such programs. A PR service was established that addressed these needs.

Conclusion:
COPD patients have unmet needs that could benefit from attending a PR program, but there are barriers at both healthcare and patient levels that we addressed in a new PR service for people with chronic respiratory disease in rural Maharashtra.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001696
Number of pages9
JournalBMJ Open Respiratory Research
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2023

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