Understanding how patients establish strategies for living with asthma: IMP2ART qualitative study

IMP2ART team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In the context of a variable condition such as asthma, patient recognition of deteriorating control and knowing what prompt action to take is crucial. Yet, implementation of recommended self-management strategies remains poor.
To explore how patients with asthma and parents/carers of children with asthma develop and establish recommended self-management strategies for living with asthma, and how clinicians can best support the process.
A qualitative study in UK primary care.
Patients with asthma and parents/carers of children with asthma from 10 general practices were purposively sampled (using age, sex, and duration of asthma) to participate in focus groups or interviews between May 2016 and August 2016. Participants' experiences of health care, management of asthma, and views on supported self-management were explored. Interviews and focus group sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Iterative thematic analysis was conducted, guided by the research questions and drawing on habit theory in discussion with a multidisciplinary research team.
A total of 49 participants (45 patients; 4 parents/carers) took part in 32 interviews and five focus groups. Of these, 11 reported using an action plan. Patients learnt how to self-manage over time, building knowledge from personal experience and other sources, such as the internet. Some regular actions, for example, taking medication, became habitual. Dealing with new or unexpected scenarios required reflective abilities, which may be supported by a tailored action plan.
Patients reported learning intuitively how to self-manage. Some regular actions became habitual; dealing with the unexpected required more reflective cognitive skills. In order to support implementation of optimal asthma self- management, clinicians should consider both these aspects of self-management and support, and educate patients proactively.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2020


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