Improving chronic lung disease management in rural and remote Australia: the Breathe Easy Walk Easy programme

Johnston, Catherine L., Maxwell, Lyndal J., Boyle, Eileen, Maguire, Graeme P., and Alison, Jennifer A. (2013) Improving chronic lung disease management in rural and remote Australia: the Breathe Easy Walk Easy programme. Respirology, 18 (1). pp. 161-169.

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Abstract

Background and objective: To evaluate the impact of a chronic lung disease management training programme, Breathe Easy Walk Easy (BEWE), for rural and remote health-care practitioners.

Methods: Quasi-experimental, before and after repeated measures design. Health-care practitioners (n = 33) from various professional backgrounds who attended the BEWE training workshop were eligible to participate. Breathe Easy Walk Easy, an interactive educational programme, consisted of a training workshop, access to online resources, provision of community awareness-raising materials and ongoing telephone/email support. Participant confidence, knowledge and attitudes were assessed via anonymous questionnaire before, immediately after and at 3 and 12 months following the BEWE workshop. At 12 months, local provision of pulmonary rehabilitation services and patient outcome data (6-min walk test results before and after pulmonary rehabilitation) were also recorded.

Results: Measured knowledge (score out of 19) improved significantly after the workshop (mean difference 7.6 correct answers, 95% confidence interval: 5.8–9.3). Participants' self-rated confidence and knowledge also increased. At 12-month follow up, three locally run pulmonary rehabilitation programmes had been established. For completing patients, there was a significant increase in 6-min walk distance following rehabilitation of 48 m (95% confidence interval: 18–70 m.

Conclusions: The BEWE programme increased rural and remote health-care practitioner knowledge and confidence in delivering management for people living with chronic lung disease and facilitated the establishment of effective pulmonary rehabilitation programmes in regional and remote Australian settings where access to such programmes is limited.

Item ID: 32254
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1440-1843
Additional Information:

education; lung disease; rehabilitation; rural and remote health care; training programme

Funders: Australian Lung Foundation, Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, University of Newcastle
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2014 23:57
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111717 Primary Health Care @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920302 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health Status and Outcomes @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 50%
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