Using behaviour change theory to drive scalability of the hand-held fan for chronic breathlessness

About the project

Title: Using behaviour change theory to drive scalability of the hand-held fan for chronic breathlessness
Funder: Sydney Partnership for Health, Education, Research and Enterprise (SPHERE) SPHERE, Australia
Time frame: Completed
Contact for more details: Professor Miriam Johnson

Disabling breathlessness can be helped by use of a simple hand-held battery operated fan to give cool facial airflow.

Despite evidence to show it helps, healthcare professionals do not routinely offer this treatment to patients, partly because they may not know about it, or don’t believe such a simple thing can help.

One of the major barriers to patients getting access to a hand-held fan for chronic breathlessness is lack of awareness by clinicians that this is a credible and effective intervention.

In this study we will learn why this is, and find ways to help. We will produce training material to encourage healthcare professionals to recommend the fan to people who may benefit from it.

In conjunction with our Australian collaborators, using behaviour change theory, we aimed to

  1. Understand barriers/facilitators to respiratory clinicians recommending the fan to patients;
  2. Co-design brief training materials for respiratory clinicians that promote the fan
  3. Test the feasibility and acceptability of training materials and their impact on clinician fan-related knowledge and attitudes
  4. Inform a future multi-site evaluation study of these materials as part of a larger behaviour change intervention promoting non-pharmacological strategies

Luckett, T., Roberts, M., Smith, T. Garcia M, Dunn S, Swan F, Ferguson C, Kochovska S, Phillips JL, Pearson M, Currow DC, Johnson MJ. Implementing the battery-operated hand-held fan as an evidence-based, non-pharmacological intervention for chronic breathlessness in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a qualitative study of the views of specialist respiratory clinicians. BMC Pulm Med 22, 129 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12890-022-01925-z

Video: Use of the hand-held fan for clinicians