More than 1 in 10 people worldwide have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and many more remain undiagnosed. Most people with COPD live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). One of the best ways to help people manage the symptoms and consequences of their COPD is Pulmonary Rehabilitation.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation involves exercise, education and self-management strategies supported by healthcare professionals. It can be delivered in hospitals, community venue or at home, with minimal equipment. Unfortunately, despite most of the social and economic burden of COPD being in LMICs, Pulmonary Rehabilitation is not widely recognised nor available.
One of the biggest challenges to Pulmonary Rehabilitation become part of routine clinical care in LMICs is the lack of trained healthcare professionals. Therefore, as part of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global RECHARGE Group for Pulmonary Rehabilitation, we sought to deliver training to support local training. Working with the International Primary Care Respiratory Group (IPCRG), we developed and delivered an education programme that can be used to build sustainable local capacity in PR teaching and delivery; called Teach the Teacher©.
Delivered online in 4x4hr sessions, 18 trainees from India, Kyrgyzstan, Malawi, Sri Lanka and Uganda participated in the RECHARGE Teach the Teacher© (TtT) programme. Shared resources were made available online and pre-training online introductions and engagement helped people to meet each other ahead of the training.
The main focus of the RECHARGE TtT were:
- How to teach others about Pulmonary Rehabilitation as an intervention and service
- How to deliver a high-quality Pulmonary Rehabilitation programme
- How to measure and improve and be a sustainable service.
Throughout the TtT course, we tried to strike a balance between teaching the important elements of Pulmonary Rehabilitation and how to teach these elements to their learners. This was done in part by describing the process of running the TtT course and sharing the tools being used. As the course progressed, and following discussions with other teams, each in-county team developed their proposals for a local Pulmonary Rehabilitation teaching programme.
At the end of the course, each team presented their proposals for developing their own Pulmonary Rehabilitation service as well as how they were planning to develop their teaching programmes.
We are now evaluating the RECHARGE TtT course and each team will be presenting their proposal and progress at the 11th IPCRG World Conference in May 2022.
For more updates, please follow @Global_RECHARGE
“This research was commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Health Research Group using UK aid from the UK Government. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.”