The following is a summary of “Views and experiences of healthcare practitioners supporting people with COPD who have used activity monitors: “More than just steps,” published in the NOVEMBER 2023 issue of Pulmonology by Wilde, et al.
The utilization of activity monitors, such as apps and wearables, has increased in the general population, including individuals dealing with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). These devices hold promise in promoting increased physical activity among COPD patients. One key aspect of facilitating the effective use of these activity monitors is the role of healthcare practitioners (HCPs). However, little was known about the viewpoints and experiences of HCPs in this context. For a study, researchers sought to explore the perspectives and experiences of HCPs in supporting COPD patients who have incorporated activity monitors into their lives.
Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted with HCPs, including two nurses, an occupational therapist, a physician, and 13 physiotherapists, between September 2020 and May 2021. All participants had experience assisting COPD patients who had adopted activity monitors. Recruitment was carried out via social media advertisements. Data from these interviews underwent analysis using reflexive thematic analysis.
The analysis of the interview data revealed four overarching themes that shed light on the challenges and benefits of HCPs supporting patients in using activity monitors and integrating patient-generated activity data. HCPs acknowledged that specific skills and experience are essential for enhancing the accessibility and engagement of patients with activity monitors. They recognized the potential of activity monitors to impact patients’ ability to self-manage their COPD. Still, there needed to be more guidance and information to support their integration into practice. The research highlighted the need for future collaboration and resource development to empower COPD patients and healthcare practitioners to employ activity monitors as tools for COPD management effectively.