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  • 1 April 2023 to 30 September 2024
  • Project No: 683
  • Funding round: FR 8


To find out whether assistive technology (AT) can improve health, wellbeing and quality of life of people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and how access and use of AT can be improved to support independent living.

AT are devices developed for people with disability or for those with difficulty in performing everyday routine activities. AT is wide-ranging from alarms to home adaptations like stair lifts and includes digital technology.


AT is being given priority by the government as a way of supporting independence and wellbeing for people living with disability such as COPD and saving money. But there is not enough information on what AT can help people with COPD and in what way. NHS England have recently recognised COPD as one of the five conditions they want to prioritise. Around 1.3 million people have COPD in the UK costing the NHS £1.9 billion each year. COPD is physically disabling and people often have other long-term conditions which can make their health even worse. Carrying out routine activities can be difficult. People with COPD would like more information on how AT can help them stay independent and how to access it. We want to look at the evidence related to AT and COPD. We also want to ask people with COPD, their carers and professionals who support them, about their experiences of AT helping people live at home.

(1) To look at previous research studies and see (i) what AT have shown benefits to people with COPD and how much it costs, and (ii) what are the experiences of receiving and using AT.

(2) To speak to around 15 people with COPD who also have other long-term conditions, carers/family members (up to 10) and professionals (up to 20) about problems related to AT, the opportunities available and how they could be used to improve delivery of effective AT to people in most need.

(3) To discuss the study findings with the public and professionals and come up with recommendations that will be useful immediately to people with COPD, their carers, professionals and policy makers.

Study benefits

The study will:

Raise awareness about the AT that brings benefits to people with COPD, the type of benefits, and if they save costs amongst people with COPD, their carers and professionals.

Raise awareness (among professionals) of the challenges around delivery of AT to people with COPD and the use of AT by people with COPD and their carers and areas for improvement.

Create more opportunities for people with COPD and their carers to access AT that is suitable, acceptable and timely to support independent living.
The study findings will reach public and professional networks for example via newsletter, blogs.

Amount awarded: £279,167

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.