A recent systematic review has investigated the attitudes and perceptions of patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis and their carers, this was carried out by the Welsh Cancer Research Centre (click here for their website).
There can be some resistance to starting oxygen therapy in patients with ILD, even though it is a mainstay of treatment for patients who have difficulty maintaining their oxygen saturations. Also oxygen therapy has been shown to improve patients function and mobility, helping patients maintain their independence for longer.
The review highlights that there is a perception that oxygen therapy is associated with disease progression and a loss of ‘normal’ living, leading patients to avoid where possible. Furthermore, issues were raised regarding the practicalities of initiating oxygen therapy. Some carers who took on responsibility for the oxygen therapy for patients were not adequately prepared, therefore patients were not using oxygen appropriately or using it to aid mobility/function.
The study advocates that professionals try to dispel any anxieties or stigma regarding oxygen therapy, and prepare patients and carers for the practicalities of living with the equipment, prior to initiating treatment. Health professionals who are involved in providing oxygen therapy may need to consider a uniform education programme for patients and carers to address any gaps in the knowledge that they currently have.
Please see the full report below:-IPF_Report_07Feb19