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Access to treatment for long-term lung disease in people with a SMI

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Access to treatment for long-term respiratory disease (Asthma, COPD) in people who also have a serious mental illness (SMI): a qualitative study of patient perspectives?



  • Contact name

    Caroline Mitchell

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Sheffield

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    1 years, 4 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    ‘Severe mental illness’ (SMI) is defined in the UK NHS quality and outcomes guidance for general practice as a group of mental health conditions which might involve hallucinations, or hearing voices, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, severe depression, which usually require long-term medication. People with a SMI are known to have an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes and to have a reduced life expectancy compared to the general population. More recently, they have also been found to also have a higher risk of long-term lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Asthma. A recent report into UK Asthma deaths also shows that nearly a quarter of deaths were people with a SMI, and prior to death their access to healthcare was poor.
    This poorer lung health is thought to be partly related to the higher levels of smoking in people with a SMI than the general population and also because COPD and Asthma are linked to poor living conditions that are more often experienced by people with a SMI. Individuals with a SMI may also miss out on early diagnosis of COPD and consequently optimum care due to greater difficulties in accessing care and support from healthcare professionals..
    The overall health of people with lung disease is improved by attendance at lung disease health checks and by on-going support and education to achieve confident self-management of their symptoms; patients learn how their medication works, to take medication regularly and to recognise when their condition is getting worse. This helps them to know when to access healthcare before their condition requires a hospital admission. People with lung disease are routinely offered influenza and pneumonia vaccinations and support to stop smoking, as well as advice about increasing activity levels and diet. The lung health care check appointments are usually with a practice nurse with the GP.
    We aim to develop a tailored respiratory health programme, linked to established annual routine health checks in general practice, to improve the lung health of people with SMI. The interviews we undertake with patients for this study will help define the elements of a person-centred lung health programme for people with a SMI which recognises the barriers and enabling factors to help better access routine health care.

  • REC name

    South Central - Hampshire B Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    17 Aug 2017

  • REC opinion

    Further Information Favourable Opinion