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Experiences of exercise in patients with asthma: a qualitative analysis of discussions in a UK asthma online community

Sara Sadek Attalla, Nadya L Ow Orcid Logo, Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo, Anna De Simoni Orcid Logo

BJGP Open, Volume: 6, Issue: 3, Start page: BJGPO.2021.0162

Swansea University Author: Melitta McNarry Orcid Logo

Abstract

BackgroundEngagement with exercise in adults with asthma is suboptimal. Limited information is available regarding factors affecting engagement with exercise. AimTo explore experiences of exercise and linked unmet needs in adults with asthma.Design & settingQualitative thematic analysis of posts...

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Published in: BJGP Open
ISSN: 2398-3795
Published: Royal College of General Practitioners 2022
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URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa59325
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Abstract: BackgroundEngagement with exercise in adults with asthma is suboptimal. Limited information is available regarding factors affecting engagement with exercise. AimTo explore experiences of exercise and linked unmet needs in adults with asthma.Design & settingQualitative thematic analysis of posts in a UK asthma online community, written between 2015 and 2020. MethodPosts were identified using keywords searches. Posts in the ‘Exercise’ topic section were additionally included. Thematic analysis of posts was undertaken. Results143 relevant posts were analysed. 92 participants were identified through posts (11M, 33F, 48 gender not stated, aged 26–73 years). Emerging themes included: fear of experiencing asthma symptoms during exercise, lack of information about how to deal with symptoms, external barriers, emotional response, and involvement of healthcare providers. Environmental factors, concomitant life stressors, distrust of healthcare professionals and embarrassment of displaying asthma symptoms during exercise were barriers to engagement. Facilitators included experiencing positive health outcomes following exercise and positive discussions regarding exercise with healthcare professionals. Strategies participants developed to enable exercise were warming up, increasing reliever and preventer inhalers when exercising and finding exercises felt as enjoyable. ConclusionFuture interventions to address fears of exercise-induced physical symptoms, and clear instructions on the use of inhalers when exercising are needed. Exploring patients’ attitudes to exercise in clinical consultations, especially in primary care, may be beneficial.
Keywords: Asthma, exercise, strategies, primary care
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Funders: This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Anna De Simoni was partly funded by Barts Charity MGU0419. REAL - Health: REsearch Actionable Learning Health Systems Asthma programme
Issue: 3
Start Page: BJGPO.2021.0162