February 18, 2016

Lung Foundation Australia patient survey offers insight into living with a lung disease

In August 2015, a patient survey was included with LungNet News and we thank all of you who responded. We received more than 1,400 responses and the analysis provided the Lung Foundation with some very rich data.

It was interesting to note from the survey that of those patients with COPD or asthma, almost 70 per cent had an action plan. It was pleasing to see the Lung Foundation’s services were well utilised and well regarded – almost half the responders had used educational resources such as our fact sheets or brochures and more than 92 per cent of responders said that they were satisfied with the services offered. Sixty per cent of people enjoyed reading LungNet News and looked forward to receiving it each quarter.

Other results indicated 53 per cent of people felt afraid for their future when they were diagnosed, leading to
an increased risk of loneliness, anxiety and depression; however these feelings were mixed with two-thirds of people also feeling relief at knowing what was causing their symptoms. Around 38 per cent of patients said they saw family and friends less often and almost half of those surveyed (49 per cent) said they left the house less often, heightening feelings of social isolation. The need for better self-management was further highlighted by the fact 55 per cent of patients had participated in fewer social groups or community activities since being diagnosed.

Lung Foundation Australia CEO Heather Allan said patients with chronic lung disease who understood their condition and were actively involved in managing it, enjoyed a better quality of life, were hospitalised less frequently and had fewer complications.

“It doesn’t matter whether you have lung cancer, COPD, asthma, pulmonary fibrosis or any other kind of lung disease, understanding your condition and how best to manage your symptoms helps,” Mrs Allan said. “Joining patient support groups, pulmonary rehabilitation or exercise maintenance programs can help people regain confidence and break down social isolation,” she said. “Patients learn breathing techniques, how to complete tasks differently, how to pace themselves, and realise they can be physically active without their perceived worst case scenario happening.” The 2015 Patient Survey also found there was a significant need for more information and community understanding about lung disease, especially when patients are first diagnosed.

For a more detailed summary, click here. If you would like a copy posted to you, please call us.