Improving access to health care for people with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Southern New Zealand: Qualitative study of the views of health professional stakeholders and patients

Tim Stokes, Emma Tumilty, Anna Tiatia Fa Atoese Latu, Fiona Doolan-Noble, Jo Baxter, Kathryn McAuley, Debbie Hannah, Simon Donlevy, Jack Dummer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common chronic disease with significant morbidity and mortality, particularly for Ma ori, which places a large burden on the New Zealand (NZ) health system. We undertook a qualitative study as part of a mixed-methods implementation research project which aimed to determine the barriers and enablers to the provision of accessible high-quality COPD care. Setting Southern Health Region of NZ (Otago and Southland). Participants Thirteen health professional stakeholders and 23 patients with severe COPD (including one Ma ori and one Pasifika participant). Methods Semistructured interviews were undertaken. A thematic analysis using the Levesque conceptual framework for access to healthcare was conducted. Results Health professional stakeholders identified barriers to providing access to health services, in particular: availability (inadequate staffing and resourcing of specialist services and limited geographical availability of pulmonary rehabilitation), affordability (both of regular medication, medication needed for an exacerbation of COPD and the copayment charge for seeing a general practitioner) and appropriateness (a shared model of care across primary and secondary care was needed to facilitate better delivery of key interventions such as pulmonary rehabilitation and advance care planning (ACP). Ma ori stakeholders highlighted the importance of communication and relationships and the role of wha nau (extended family) for support. Patients' accounts showed variable ability to access services through having a limited understanding of what COPD is, a limited knowledge of services they could access, being unable to attend pulmonary rehabilitation (due to comorbidities) and direct (medication and copayment charges) and indirect (transport) costs. Conclusions People with severe COPD experience multilevel barriers to accessing healthcare in the NZ health system along the pathway of care from diagnosis to ACP. These need to be addressed by local health services if this group of patients are to receive high-quality care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere033524
JournalBMJ open
Volume9
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

Keywords

  • Access to health care
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION & MANAGEMENT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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