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A Lay Health Worker Intervention to Increase Uptake and Completion of Pulmonary Rehabilitation in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Assessing Fidelity of Intervention Delivery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Patrick White, Gill Gilworth, Viktoria McMillan, Simon Lewin, Stephanie J.C. Taylor, Alison J. Wright

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)557-561
Number of pages5
JournalCOPD: Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Issue number5
Accepted/In press1 Jan 2020
Published2 Sep 2020

King's Authors


The benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are restricted by poor uptake and completion. Lay health workers (LHWs) have been effective in improving access to treatment and services for other health conditions. We have successfully shown the feasibility of this approach in a PR setting and its acceptability to the LHWs and COPD patients. We present here the feasibility of assessment, and the fidelity of delivery of LHW support achieved for COPD patients referred for PR. LHWs, volunteer COPD patients experienced in PR, received training in the intervention including communication skills, confidentiality and behaviour change techniques (BCTs). Interactions between LHWs and patients were recorded, transcribed and coded for delivery style and BCTs. Inter-rater agreement on the coding of delivery style and BCTs was high at >84%. LHWs built rapport and communicated attentively in over 80% of interactions. LHWs most consistently delivered BCTs concerning information provision about the consequences of PR often making those consequences salient by referring to their own positive experience of PR. Social support BCTs were also used by the majority of LHWs. The use of BCTs varied between LHWs. The assessment of intervention delivery fidelity by LHWs was feasible. LHW training in the setting of PR should add emphasis to the acquisition of BCT skills relating to goal setting and action planning.

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