It is estimated that appropriate early-intervention and self-management could prevent 70% of asthma-related hospital admissions. Patient education and self-management have been convincingly shown to improve clinical outcomes in asthma, and digital interventions have proved a cost-effective means by which to do this in other chronic health conditions. We used existing quantitative and a program of qualitative research to develop My Breathing Matters, an online self-management programme to improve a variety of asthma-related outcomes.
Our person-based approach to intervention development took an iterative approach, exploring patients' perceptions of My Breathing Matters using thematic analysis of in-depth think-aloud studies, with modifications based on feedback.
The age range of the patient group was 21 to 61, all with a positive diagnosis of asthma. My Breathing Matters was viewed positively by patients as a tool for patient self-management. Patients had positive perceptions of both pharmacological and non-pharmacological self-management techniques. Patients approved of digital interventions for self-management, including personalized tailoring in order to allow quick access of relevant content (such as an online Personalized Asthma Action Plan).
This study provides important evidence that digital interventions are an acceptable and well-liked way to improve asthma-related outcomes. Further research will conduct a feasibility trial of the intervention, with process analyses of patient and primary care staff experiences, to inform a future Phase 3 trial.