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Evaluation of the benefits of the British Lung Foundation's 'Breathe Easy' peer support network.

‘Integrated Breathe Easy’ is a two year evaluation undertaken on behalf of the British Lung Foundation (BLF) funded by the Cabinet Office through Nesta. It will assess whether integrating Breathe Easy groups into local respiratory care pathways results in better health and well-being outcomes for patients and carers. More than 230 BLF ‘Breathe Easy’ voluntary patient groups meet monthly across Britain. They aim to develop knowledge and increase self-management levels among those with long term lung disease including COPD, asthma and sarcoidosis. They offer support from health professionals and social activities.

The study compares three cohorts to measure impact and assess outcomes:

  • groups not integrated into the NHS care pathway
  • new groups which are integrated
  • control group - patients not attending Breathe Easy, but would be willing to.

The focus is on patient understanding and self-help. Data collection in year one will explore patient self-efficacy levels, and their knowledge of where to seek help and advice. Carers will also be questioned about their confidence and burden of care.  Year two will focus on cost effectiveness of the groups.

Rowena Merritt leads and project manages the CHSS research team which includes Research Fellow Ferhana Hashem, Health Economist Olena Nizalova and Statistician Tracy Higgins.

Start date: 01/04/2014 End date: 30/04/2016

Funder: British Lung Foundation

Funding: £74,725

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Last Updated: 08/06/2018