Exploring the experiences of older adults living with asthma: a co-produced qualitative study

05 Aug 2021
Respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
Type of resource
Dublin 2021
Tracy Jackson, The University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Clinical Research Results Aim: 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 adult with asthma to identify areas of research that could improve quality of life. We aimed to explore the perceptions of older adults in the UK with asthma on how they manage their asthma, how this impacts their life and if their asthma has changed over the years. Methods: 15 adults with GP diagnosed asthma, aged 60 years and over, from across the UK were interviewed by telephone. 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 NIHR 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 understanding of asthma. Participants experienced increased physical, psychological and social impacts of asthma management as they aged which led to feelings of isolation. 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 participants had seen a GP or nurse for an asthma review in the previous 12 months. Competing multimorbidities and polypharmacy complicate treatment and provide increased difficulties for older asthma managing their asthma. Conclusions: Older adults experience increased challenges in managing their asthma due to increased multimorbidities, polypharmacy and ageism from healthcare providers. Results will be used to inform the research priorities of AUKCAR to develop and undertake research aimed at improving the lives of older adults living with asthma. Implementation Science/Service Development Research Ideas on Respiratory Conditions and Tobacco Dependency Abstract Declaration of Interest Funding: This project received no funding.Tracy Jackson is funded by Asthma UK as part of the Asthma UK Centre for Applied Research [AUK-AC-2012-01 and AUK-AC-2018-01]. References and Clinical Trial Registry Information