Resilience and Breathlessness (HF and COPD)

North West London
Start Date: 1 Sep 2014

Project aim

People with chronic conditions such as Heart Failure (HF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) vary considerably in their ability to tolerate, come to terms with and manage their health. To understand this variation studies have been conducted to evaluate health behaviour, self-management and psychological factors.  Alongside this there is a growing body of enquiry and a developing evidence base investigating the influence and impact of individual’s resilience levels in managing their mental health, however the variation in levels of resilience and response to long term health problems is an area of research interest that has been understudied. 

This project working in partnership with Professor Sheree Smith (University of Western Sydney Australia) is starting with a systematic literature review to look at the concept of resilience and two long term conditions, HF and COPD, to answer the following research question: Do differential levels of resilience influence adult’s ability to effectively self-management the chronic conditions COPD, heart failure?

The work is aligned to the Breathlessness Theme and specifically the Common Rehabilitation Project.

On completion of the Literature Review work will begin to develop a feasibility and proof of concept study investigating a correlation between high levels of resilience in individuals with COPD and HF and their ability to manage exacerbations; with further investigation planned on interventions to increase resilience in people with HF and COPD. 

Outcome & Impact statement

The Literature Review will help us understand more about the relationship between resilience and living with a long term condition, discover what if any other research has already been carried out and find out where the gaps in are in our Knowledge and understanding. This will enable us to plan our next steps in researching links between resilience and HF and COPD. Further into the future it is hoped that if we can establish a link between high levels of resilience and managing exacerbations of HF and COPD we will be able to work with others to design ways of helping people with HF and COPD increase their resilience and so manage their conditions better with fewer exacerbations, admissions to hospital and increased quality of life.

Professor Sheree Smith