Asthma is one of the most common long-term conditions in the UK. An estimated 75% of hospital admissions are avoidable and 90% of deaths from Asthma are preventable.

People with asthma have an elevated incidence of anxiety/depression and effective treatment of these conditions reduces the use of health care resources by asthma sufferers as well as improving their quality of life. The asthma self-help project has focused on co-producing a self-management programme to integrate the physical care of those with asthma in primary, community and secondary care with the psychological treatment available from Westminster IAPT service (a national NHS resource for psychological treatment).

As part of the project, the team have developed a 7 part self-help manual for adult patients with asthma which integrates an overall asthma management plan with cognitive-behavioural techniques for controlling anxiety and panic, with the aim of improving their ability to self-manage their condition and symptoms without the need to use acute services. The 7 sessions of the treatment resource are interaction between asthma, anxiety and panic; cognitive behavioural therapy model and relaxation; worry management tools; behavioural activation; negative thoughts and social anxiety; managing panic attacks; maintaining wellbeing and good holistic asthma control.

The project now plans to use the learning gained through this project to implement a similar structured, integrated service within Hillingdon in an attempt to further improve services for patients in north West London.

For more information contact: d.matthew@imperial.ac.uk

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