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Original research
Respiratory patient experience of measures to reduce risk of COVID-19: findings from a descriptive cross-sectional UK wide survey
  1. Keir EJ Philip1,
  2. Andrew Cumella2,
  3. Joe Farrington-Douglas2,
  4. Michael Laffan2,
  5. Nicholas S Hopkinson1,2
  1. 1National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Keir EJ Philip; k.philip{at}


Objectives To assess the experience of people with long-term respiratory conditions regarding the impact of measures to reduce risk of COVID-19.

Design Analysis of data (n=9515) from the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation partnership COVID-19 survey collected online between 1 and 8 April 2020.

Setting Community.

Participants 9515 people with self-reported long-term respiratory conditions. 81% female, age ranges from ≤17 years to 80 years and above, from all nations of the UK. Long-term respiratory conditions reported included asthma (83%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (10%), bronchiectasis (4%), interstitial lung disease (2%) and ‘other’ (<1%) (eg, lung cancer and pulmonary endometriosis).

Outcome measures Study responses related to impacts on key elements of healthcare, as well as practical, psychological and social consequences related to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures.

Results 45% reported disruptions to care, including cancellations of appointments, investigations, pulmonary rehabilitation, treatment and monitoring. Other practical impacts such as difficulty accessing healthcare services for other issues and getting basic necessities such as food were also common. 36% did not use online prescriptions, and 54% had not accessed online inhaler technique videos. Psychosocial impacts including anxiety, loneliness and concerns about personal health and family were prevalent. 81% reported engaging in physical activity. Among the 11% who were smokers, 48% reported they were planning to quit smoking because of COVID-19.

Conclusions COVID-19 and related social distancing measures are having profound impacts on people with chronic respiratory conditions. Urgent adaptation and signposting of services is required to mitigate the negative health consequences of the COVID-19 response for this group.

  • public health
  • mental health
  • respiratory medicine (see thoracic medicine)
  • respiratory infections

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  • Twitter @keirphilip, @acumella

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published. The authors name have been updated as Keir EJ Philip and Nicholas S Hopkinson.

  • Contributors All authors developed the survey, and KP performed the data analysis and wrote the first draft. All authors contributed to revisions of this first draft and approved the final version.

  • Funding KP was supported by the Imperial College Clinician Investigator Scholarship, which is managed within Imperial College London, and does not have a specific award/grant number.

  • Disclaimer The funders had no say in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No data are available. All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.