COPD Patients' Experience of Long-Term Domestic Oxygen-Enriched Nasal High Flow Treatment: A Qualitative Study

COPD. 2020 Apr;17(2):175-183. doi: 10.1080/15412555.2020.1736998. Epub 2020 Mar 17.


Little is known about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients experience with home-based health treatments, which are currently rapidly evolving. A previous randomized controlled trial investigated the use of long-term oxygen enriched high flow nasal cannula (HFNC) treatment at home. The aim of this study was to explore COPD patients' experience using home HFNC treatment. Patients in this qualitative study were included from the previous RCT. All patients used long-term oxygen therapy and HFNC, the latter as a primarily nocturnal add-on. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews focused on four themes: 'Description of daily use', 'Experienced changes', 'Treatment benefits and disadvantages' and 'User-friendliness'. The interviewer played an encouraging, non-normative neutral facilitator role in order to give the participants possibility to explain themselves as fully as possible. Participants were recruited until themes were saturated. A total of 12 patients (5 males, 7 females) and 8 relatives participated. Six themes were identified as important to patient adherence: Perceived lower work of breathing; reduced symptoms; improved quality of sleep; increased activity of daily living; feeling safe; technology use. The results increase our knowledge of patient experience of using HFNC for home treatment, which improved the patients' experience through reducing symptoms and increase the activity of daily living. Furthermore, they substantiate the necessity of perceived usefulness and ease of use as important factors for adherence to treatment.

Keywords: COPD; COPD symptoms; adherence; home treatment; nasal high flow; patients’ experience.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cannula
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy* / instrumentation
  • Patient Compliance / psychology*
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Self Care / psychology*
  • Sleep
  • Technology
  • Work of Breathing