Lay Publications

Educational Impact of Pulmonary Rehabilitation: Lung Information Needs Questionnaire

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common, worsens over time and causes loss of strength and energy. As the disease advances patients suffer with increasing symptoms, worsening health status, disabilities and a sharp decline in mental and physical wellbeing. COPD is associated with reduced physical activity. Some sufferers of COPD may be blamed for their own disease because they smoked. As the disease advances patients suffer with increasing symptoms, disabilities and a spiralling decline in mental and physical wellbeing.
Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a broad program which aims to improve the quality of life of people who have breathing problems by providing physical rehabilitation as well as educating COPD sufferers about their condition. The starting point of helping COPD patients is to give them information; one of the most effective ways to deliver this is through PR.
Decline in body function and physical activity caused by COPD can be reduced or improved by doing things such as increasing physical activity and engaging in PR. Health status may be improved by drug treatment and also PR. The Lung Information Needs Questionnaire (LINQ) looks at a patient’s need for education about their condition during PR programs. The aim of this study was to assess the LINQ in regards to patient change in physical condition before and after PR. PR programmes across the South West of England recruited 158 patients. The participants completed the LINQ and other questionnaires about their COPD.
Data were analysed on 115 patients who completed the LINQ before and after PR. The LINQ scores showed that knowledge about of COPD improved significantly following PR except for patient’s information about smoking as information about smoking was already well known by the patients.
This study shows that the LINQ is a practical tool for detecting areas where patients need education and can also detect improvement in education before and after pulmonary rehabilitation. LINQ could now be considered as a routine in PR. The LINQ may be a useful tool for GPs to assess their patients’ educational needs.