A qualitative study of patients' experiences of participating in SPACE FOR COPD: A self-management Programme of Activitiy, Coping and Education




Journal Title

Journal ISSN


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ERJ Open Research



Peer reviewed



Aims: To understand experiences of participation in a supported self-management programme for COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

Background: There is a wealth of clinical trials examining the outcomes of self-management interventions for individuals with COPD, but current understanding regarding patients’ perspectives of such complex interventions is limited. Further insight may help to tailor self-management interventions and maximise patient engagement.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with individuals participating in a self-management programme, SPACE FOR COPD. Interviews took place at six weeks and six months following the programme. Data were analysed at each time point using inductive thematic analysis and subsequently re-examined together.

Results: Forty interviews were carried out and four themes emerged from the analysis; ‘perceptions of the programme’, ‘lifestyle changes’, ‘social support’ and ‘disrupting factors and barriers to maintaining routines’.

Conclusion: SPACE FOR COPD was acceptable to participants in this study.The importance of education and social support was emphasised at both time points, but with challenges such as co-morbidities, family members’ ill health, limited maintenance of exercise behaviours over the longer term. Further consideration of the role of carers and partners may help to improve adherence with self-management programmes once healthcare professional support has stopped.


open access article


COPD, Qualitative, Self-management, Patient education


Apps ,LD., Harrison, S.L., Mitchell, K.E., et al. (2017) A qualitative study of patients’ experiences of participating in SPACE for COPD: a Self-management Programme of Activity, Coping and Education. ERJ Open Res; 3: 00017-2017 [https://doi.org/10.1183/23120541.00017-2017].


Research Institute

Institute for Psychological Science
Centre for Reproduction Research (CRR)