People living with a severe form of asthma are not receiving the support they need because the condition is not taken seriously enough, according to new research.
Psychology experts at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have spoken with patients at a specialist clinic for severe asthma about their experiences, as part of a wider project led by healthcare professionals at Glenfield Hospital (University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust) and University of Leicester (UoL).
They found the widespread public opinion that asthma is a mild, non-life-threatening condition has created obstacles in the care for patients living with a chronic form.
The findings were collated by Lindsay Apps, a senior lecturer at DMU and practitioner health psychologist, Nicky Hudson, professor of medical sociology at DMU.
Lindsay said more needs to be done to help the patients who have chronic asthma.
“Our research highlighted that there is a common misconception that ‘everybody’s got asthma’ and that is having a negative impact on the patients who have severe asthma,” she explained.
The research is part of a three-year project which aims to develop and test exercise rehabilitation for people with severe asthma. It has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and led by Dr Rachael Evans, associate professor at UoL and honorary consultant respiratory physician at Glenfield Hospital.
This work demonstrates how qualitative research can provide a rich understanding of the impact long term conditions have on people's lives.
This research will influence the next steps developing interventions for people with severe asthma to help them manage their condition and feel better.” Dr Rachael Evans, associate professor at UoL and honorary consultant respiratory physician at Glenfield Hospital
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), severe asthma is when the condition is difficult to treat and/or resistant to therapies. While less than 10% of people with asthma suffer from this critical condition, it costs the NHS more than 50% of the money spent on patients with asthma in total.
If uncontrolled, severe asthma is not treated it can be life-threatening but not many people realize that. There needs to be more public awareness and we need to see more social support for patients. It would also be useful to have clearer clarification on the difference between mild asthma and severe asthma.” Lindsay Apps, senior lecturer at DMU and practitioner health psychologist Related Stories
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