Understanding patient participation behaviour in studies of COPD support programmes such as pulmonary rehabilitation and self-management: a qualitative synthesis with application of theory.
In chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the problem of poor patient participation in studies of self-management (SM) and pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) programmes (together referred to as COPD support programmes) is established. Understanding this problem beyond the previously reported socio-demographics and clinical factors is critical.
The aim of this study was to explore factors that explain patient participation in studies of COPD support programmes.
Thematic 'framework' synthesis was conducted on literature published from 1984 to 1 February 2015. Emergent themes and subthemes were mapped onto the adapted 'attitude-social influence-external barriers' and the 'self-regulation' models to produce analytical themes.
Ten out of 12 studies were included: PR (n=9) and SM (n=1). Three descriptive themes with 38 subthemes were mapped onto the models' constructs, and it generated four analytical themes: 'attitude', 'social influences' and 'illness' and 'intervention representations'. The following factors influenced (1) attendance-helping oneself through health improvements, perceived control of worsening condition, perceived benefits and positive past experience of the programme, as well as perceived positive influence of professionals; (2) non-attendance-perceived negative effects and negative past experience of the programme, perceived physical/practical concerns related to attendance, perceived severity of condition/symptoms and perceived negative influence of professionals/friends; (3) dropout-no health improvements perceived after attending a few sessions of the programme, perceived severity of the condition and perceived physical/practical concerns related to attendance.
Psychosocial factors including perceived practical/physical concerns related to attendance influenced patients' participation in COPD support programmes. Addressing the negative beliefs/perceptions via behaviour change interventions may help improve participation in COPD support programmes and, ultimately, patient outcomes.