Could an online programme help people to manage breathlessness at home?

A summary of research published in ERJ Open Research

A new study has found that people living with breathlessness could benefit from an online programme to help manage their symptoms. The study was published in the European Respiratory Journal Open Research.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to more people using the internet as a platform for social interactions. As many parts of healthcare are also moving online, researchers are looking at how new programmes could help people to manage their symptoms at home.


What did the study look at?

In this new study, researchers conducted interviews with 25 people who were living with long-term breathlessness. They were asked about their access to the internet and their experience and opinions of using existing online services. They were also asked about their thoughts on an online breathlessness programme – specifically, what would encourage them to use it and what should be considered before this kind of programme is launched.

What do the results show?

The results found that people thought the programme was a good idea. Almost all (20 out of 21) of the people with access to the internet said they would be willing to use the programme, if given the opportunity.

The interviews also revealed that many people have had positive experiences of online social interactions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why is this important?

Long-term breathlessness can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. Making a programme accessible and widely available could bring many benefits. This study confirms that the people the programme is designed for would welcome it. The findings allow for the roll out of this programme to be considered.

Further reading

Read the original research paper

Title: You can do it yourself and you can do it at your convenience. Internet accessibility and willingness of people with chronic breathlessness to use an internet-based breathlessness self-management intervention (SELF-BREATHE): during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ELF has worked with some of the team who worked on SELF-BREATHE, on another project, Better-B you can learn more about this project here: