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Qualitative evaluation of asthma services for young people: a sequential simulation study

Abstract

Background Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and an important preventable cause of mortality in children and young people (CYP). Few studies have brought together CYP and health professionals to understand the patient perspective of routine asthma care. We sought to explore how young people engage with routine asthma care in North West London through sequential simulation.

Method We designed a sequential simulation focusing on routine asthma management in young people aged 12–18. A 20 min simulation was developed with four young people to depict typical interactions with school nurses and primary care services. This was performed to a mixed audience of young people, general practitioners (GPs), paediatricians, school nurses and commissioners. Young people were invited to attend by their GPs and through social media channels. Attendees participated in audio-recorded, facilitated discussions exploring the themes arising from the simulation. Recordings were transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis.

Results 37 people attended the sequential simulation. Themes arising from postsimulation discussions included recognition of chaotic family lifestyles as a key barrier to accessing care; the importance of strong communication between multidisciplinary team professionals and recognition of the role school nurses can play in delivering routine asthma care.

Conclusion Sequential simulation allows healthcare providers to understand routine asthma care for CYP from the patient perspective. We propose improved integration of school nurses into routine asthma care and regular multidisciplinary team meetings to reduce fragmentation, promote interprofessional education and address the widespread professional complacency towards this lethal condition.

  • sequential simulation
  • patient experience
  • inter-professional education
  • qualitative research
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