Exploring the benefits of a psychoeducation session for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and co-morbid depression and/or anxiety
evidence and practice    

Exploring the benefits of a psychoeducation session for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and co-morbid depression and/or anxiety

Ryan Askey-Jones Senior Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation NHS Trust, Carlisle, England
Karen Hailes Team Leader, Community Respiratory Team, Workington Community Hospital, North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, Workington, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the co-morbid mental health conditions that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease commonly experience

  • To gain knowledge of the potential benefits of including a psychoeducation session as part of pulmonary rehabilitation programmes

  • To understand the barriers to accessing psychological support, particularly from improving access to psychological therapies services, that patients may encounter

Background Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic and life-threatening inflammatory lung disorder that results in progressive symptoms and significant disability. Co-morbid depression and/or anxiety are highly prevalent in people with COPD and are linked with higher mortality and symptom burden.

Aim To explore if a psychoeducation session on depression and anxiety is a useful addition to a pulmonary rehabilitation programme.

Method In total, 74 psychoeducation sessions, attended by 214 patients with COPD, took place. The sessions involved providing information on the symptoms and potential triggers for depression and anxiety, as well as basic cognitive behavioural therapy strategies on how to cope with these experiences. A total of 163 patients completed session evaluation forms and 12 patients participated in focus group discussions. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Findings The evaluation forms indicated that 95% of respondents found the psychoeducation session useful. Six themes were identified from the focus group data: education on depression and anxiety; normalising; the benefits of being in a group; learning skills to manage symptoms; knowing that support is available; and barriers to accessing the group and making referrals to an improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT) service.

Conclusion The addition of a psychoeducation session may be a useful adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation programmes. Participants reported that they learned about the signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety, and most of them felt more confident in recognising these after the session. However, only a few participants were referred to the IAPT service, potentially because of several barriers to accessing this service.

Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1435

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Correspondence

ryan.askey-jones@cntw.nhs.uk

Conflict of interest

None declared

Askey-Jones R, Hailes K (2020) Exploring the benefits of a psychoeducation session for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and co-morbid depression and/or anxiety. Mental Health Practice. doi: 10.7748/mhp.2020.e1435

Published online: 12 May 2020

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