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  • Principal Investigator: Marta Wanat
  • 1 September 2021 to 31 January 2023
  • Project No: 527
  • Funding round: FR1

Asthma is a common condition which affects around 5.4 million people in the UK. Most patients with asthma are monitored by their GP practice at least once a year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused significant disruption to GP practices’ ability and capacity to assess and review asthma patients.

This may in turn have created several challenges for patients, including a) difficulties managing their asthma by themselves at home; b) being unsure when and how to seek help when experiencing asthma-like symptoms; c) experiencing changes to their consultations (e.g. asthma reviews being conducted remotely or postponed); d) deterioration in other conditions which impact on their asthma (e.g. mental health conditions). To help us deal with these challenges, greater understanding of patients’ views and experiences of them is needed.

Our study aims to address this important gap our knowledge by conducting interviews with 10 to 15 asthma patients to explore their experiences of asthma management in primary care in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We want to study these experiences over time; we know that events such as rolling out vaccines and/or increased demand for general practice in the winter period may have an impact on GP practices’ workload and resources. This may in turn affect asthma care and patients’ experiences. The exact timing of the interviews may change, depending on what challenges primary care might be facing. However, the first set of interviews is likely to take place in summer/early autumn 2021; the second set of interviews is likely to take place during the winter period (January-February 2022), and the third set in April-May 2022.

We will use the findings of our study to inform strategies for delivering more patient-centred asthma management from primary care settings during the remaining course of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This study will be the first step in developing a programme of work on building more robust and efficient systems for providing care to asthma patients which will be more resilient to any further challenges posed by COVID-19 or other future pandemics.

Amount Awarded: £32,440

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.