An internet based tool, the COPD-web, was developed in order to support physical activity and self-management strategies for people with COPD. By a participatory research design, we involved users in the development. The purpose of the study was to describe reflections and views related to needs, desirable content, design and potential difficulties that emerged during the process.
Individual interviews (n=22) and focus groups discussions (n=9) were conducted with people with COPD and their relatives, health care professionals employed at two primary care units in northern Sweden, and moreover external COPD researchers. Qualitative content analysis was used to explore the participants’ views.
Our results points out that people with COPD had an ambition to take responsibility for their health in spite of limited knowledge. In coherence with the health care professionals, they wanted more knowledge about COPD. However, health care professionals occasionally viewed knowledgeable patients as a threat to their authority. Videos showing e.g. physical exercise and breathing techniques, designed so that people with COPD can identify themselves, was highlighted as desirable by all groups of participants. Further, all groups saw the COPD-web as a tool with potential to increase the people with COPD’s readiness to interpret and act upon symptoms. Getting support through the COPD-web was seen as a complement, but not a replacement of the standard care, since not everyone has a computer.
Involvement of users in the development of the COPD-web provided insights that may facilitate the implementation of the COPD-web to both people with COPD and health care professionals.