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Assistance of family carers for patients with COPD using nebulisers at home: a qualitative study

Alhaddad, B; Taylor, KMG; Robertson, T; Watman, G; Smith, FJ; (2016) Assistance of family carers for patients with COPD using nebulisers at home: a qualitative study. European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy , 23 (3) pp. 156-160. 10.1136/ejhpharm-2015-000735. Green open access

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Abstract

Objective: For many patients with chronic conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the assistance of family carers with medicines is vital for optimal treatment outcomes. The aim of this study was to identify the assistance carers provide to patients with COPD using nebuliser-delivered therapy at home, and the problems experienced that may impact on the safety and effectiveness of therapy and contribute to carer burden. Methods: A cross-sectional, qualitative descriptive study was conducted with participants recruited from primary and intermediate care. Home interviews were conducted with 14 carers who assisted a family member with COPD using a nebuliser. Qualitative procedures enabled analysis of nebuliser-related activities and problems experienced by carers. Results: The carer sample included 10 female and 4 male carers, with a mean age of 61 years: 11 spouses and 3 daughters. They had assisted patients with use of their nebuliser and associated medications for, on average, 4.5 years. Assistance ranged from taking full responsibility for nebuliser use to providing help with particular aspects only when required. Nebuliser-related activities included assembling and setting up equipment, mixing medicines, operating the device, dismantling and cleaning equipment. Difficulties were described with all aspects of care. Carers reported concerns about medication side effects and the lack of information provided. Conclusions: The study revealed the vital role of carers in enabling effective therapy. The wide-ranging responsibilities assumed by carers and problems experienced relate to all aspects of COPD management with nebulisers, and have a potential impact on treatment outcomes and carer burden. A systematic approach to addressing carers' needs and prioritising support would be anticipated to have positive consequences for patients, carers and health services.

Type: Article
Title: Assistance of family carers for patients with COPD using nebulisers at home: a qualitative study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/ejhpharm-2015-000735
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ejhpharm-2015-000735
Language: English
Additional information: Published by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd. This article has been accepted for publication in European Journal of Hospital Pharmacy following peer review. The definitive copyedited, typeset version is available online at: http://ejhp.bmj.com/content/23/3/156
Keywords: COPD, nebulisers, family carers, medicines optimisation, pharmaceutical care
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Pharmaceutics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Practice and Policy
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1485827
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