The lay health worker-patient relationship in promoting pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in COPD: What makes it work?

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Title: The lay health worker-patient relationship in promoting pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) in COPD: What makes it work?
Authors: Gilworth, G
Lewin, S
Wright, AJ
Taylor, SJ
Tuffnell, R
Hogg, L
Hopkinson, NS
Singh, SJ
White, P
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Lay health workers (LHWs) can improve access to services and adherence to treatment, as well as promoting self-care and prevention. Their effect in promoting uptake and adherence in pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been tested. PR is the most effective treatment for the symptoms and disability of COPD, but this effectiveness is undermined by poor rates of completion. Trained LHWs with COPD, who also have first-hand experience of PR, are well placed to help overcome the documented barriers to its completion. The relationship between LHWs and patients may be one of the keys to their effectiveness but it has been little explored. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were used with the aim of examining the LHW-patient partnership in a feasibility study of trained PR-experienced LHWs used to support COPD patients referred to PR. Twelve volunteers with COPD who completed LHW training supported 66 patients referred for PR. All 12 of these LHWs gave end-of-study interviews, 21 COPD patients supported by LHWs were also interviewed. Patients reported that the LHWs were keen to share their experiences of PR, and that this had a positive impact. The enthusiasm of the LHWs for PR was striking. The common bond between LHWs and patients of having COPD together with the LHWs positive, first-hand experience of PR were dominant and recurring themes in their relationship.
Issue Date: 26-Aug-2019
Date of Acceptance: 12-Jul-2019
ISSN: 1479-9723
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Journal / Book Title: Chronic Respiratory Disease
Volume: 16
Copyright Statement: © 2019 The Authors. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages ( open-access-at-sage).
Sponsor/Funder: National Institute for Health Research
Funder's Grant Number: NIHR ref:PB-PG-0213-30052
Keywords: COPD
Lay health workers
patient navigators
pulmonary rehabilitation
Lay health workers
patient navigators
pulmonary rehabilitation
Respiratory System
1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
1103 Clinical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Open Access location:
Online Publication Date: 2019-08-26
Appears in Collections:National Heart and Lung Institute
Airway Disease

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