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Della Thomas

Understanding the potential of assistive technology (AT) in people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to support independence and wellbeing: A qualitative study

Aim
Assistive technology (AT) are devices developed for people with disability or for those with difficulty in performing everyday routine activities. AT is wide-ranging from falls sensor alarms to home adaptations like stair lifts and includes digital technology.
The study aim is to find out whether AT can improve health, wellbeing and quality of life of people with lung-problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (also referred to as chronic bronchitis or emphysema) and how getting and using AT can help them to live more independently.

Background
COPD is physically disabling, and people often have other long-term conditions which can make their health even worse. Carrying out daily activities can be difficult due to shortness of breath, cough or tiredness.
AT is prioritised by the government as a way to support people living with disability such as COPD to live more independently and save money. But there is not enough information on how AT can help people with COPD and in what way.

Method
This study is an interview study (one workstream and part of a bigger study comprising two other workstreams). This study is subject to governance approvals and includes speaking to around 15 people with COPD who also have other long-term conditions, carers/family members (up to 10) and professionals (up to 20) about problems related to AT, the solutions available and how they could be used to improve getting AT that is suitable to people in most need.

Study benefits
The study will raise awareness and Create more opportunities for people with COPD and their carers to get AT that is suitable, acceptable and timely to support independent living.

The study findings will reach public and professional networks