“A breath of fresh air” for tackling chronic disease in Ireland? An evaluation of a self-management support service for people with chronic respiratory diseases

  • Aishling SheridanEmail author
  • Aisling Jennings
  • Shirley Keane
  • Averil Power
  • Paul Kavanagh
Original Article



To describe the impact of a nurse-led telephone self-management support (SMS) service for people with asthma and COPD in Ireland.


A cross-sectional survey of all (442) SMS users, July 2016 to May 2017, described user demographics, self-reported experience, process and outcome. Population utilisation was estimated and compared across groups. Factors associated with key outcomes were identified.


The response rate was 162 (36.7%). Utilisation varied across population groups. Reported satisfaction was high, and 56.0% of users without a written action plan reported developing one. Most users reported positive cognitive and affective outcomes indicating effective patient activation. Information pack receipt was independently associated with better outcomes (odds ratio = 11.4 (95% CI, 2.0, 216.6), p < 0.05).


A nurse-led telephone SMS intervention positively impacted self-management for people with asthma and COPD in Ireland.

Practice implications

Roll-out of SMS should include staff training to promote positive service user experience and should include routine monitoring and evaluation to assure equitable reach and quality of key evidence-based care processes.


Asthma Chronic obstructive airways disease Outcome and process assessment (health care) Patient education Self-management Telemedicine 



We would like to thank Dr. Elaine Brabazon, Department of Public Health North East; Dr. Carmel Mullaney, HSE Lead for Self-Management Support, Department of Public Health South East; and the users of the Self-Management Support Service who participated in this evaluation.

Author contributions

• A Sheridan planned, designed and conducted the evaluation, analysed and interpreted data, and drafted the report.

• A Jennings assisted in planning and conducting the evaluation and reviewed the report.

• S Keane assisted in planning the evaluation and reviewed the report.

• A Power assisted in planning the evaluation and reviewed the report.

• P Kavanagh supervised planning, designing and conducting the evaluation, analysis and interpretation of data, and drafting and reviewing the report.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

A Power and A Jennings were employed by the organisation which delivered the self-management support service. S Keane was employed by the organisation which commissioned and funded the self-management support service. A Sheridan and P Kavanagh were both independent of the funding and delivery of the service.


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Copyright information

© Royal Academy of Medicine in Ireland 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public Health North East, Health and Wellbeing DivisionHealth Service ExecutiveDublinIreland
  2. 2.Asthma Society of Ireland (2017)DublinIreland
  3. 3.Primary Care Strategy and PlanningHealth Service ExecutiveDublinIreland

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