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M20 Think well, feel well. enabling participants to develop helpful coping strategies in the management of severe asthma challenges
  1. H Hope,
  2. G McCumesky,
  3. R Niven
  1. University Hospitals South Manchester, Manchester, UK


Introduction The psychological difficulties of those living with severe asthma are well documented, and can impact on disease severity and patient self-management.1

Objectives Our objective is to help patients achieve what is important to them (values), whilst living with severe asthma, and in doing so should feel more emotionally resilient. Resilience may enhance managing the challenges and demands of their illness, and promote better self-management.

Method A three hour workshop involving a number of exercises was designed to elicit daily struggles in relation to asthma, how that impacts on what is important to participants in life, and the emotional impact. Participants were then encouraged as a group to evaluate how they managed such struggles in relation to their values, and whether the coping strategy was helpful in them achieving their values, or less helpful, inadvertently causing more distress. The workshop was evaluated with an idiosyncratic rating scale administered before and after the workshop.

Results 17 participants completed two workshops. Post-workshop mean scores demonstrated improved coping with asthma and a greater range of coping strategies. However, post-workshop mean average scores also demonstrated greater awareness of difficulties, that asthma felt more overwhelming, and was a greater barrier to achieving valued activities in life, compared to pre-workshop mean scores. Subjective feedback included, patients feeling less alone, more hopeful, and that having a complex illness should not coincide with the experience of depression or anxiety as the norm.

Conclusion The Results suggest that when patients are enabled to evaluate how effective their coping strategies are in relation to their values, asthma and associated demands seem more manageable. However, the Results also suggest that patients were reminded of some of their challenges/difficulties, and have realised through workshop attendance that their current ways of coping may not be the most helpful, and could ultimately be contributing to their distress/disease management. Whilst this was not an anticipated finding, it highlights the importance of access to psychological assessment and treatment.


  1. . Asthma UK. Treatments for Depression 2016. Available at: [Accessed: 9.06.2017].

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