Having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or any chronic lung disease, can be a lonely experience. People can often be around people (even family members) who don’t understand the disease and wonder why they can’t do what they used to do.
If you have a lung disease, you know the importance of keeping up with rehabilitation programs and staying healthy and active, but it’s not always easy sticking to the schedule when it’s only you. Some recent research investigated whether having a good social support network makes a difference in whether someone with a lung disease engages in healthy behaviors.
The researchers knew patient engagement was important for COPD management, but they wondered if there was a noticeable difference in how active patients were and whether they stuck to their rehab if they were on their own or had social help.
There were two kinds of social support identified,
- Structural: the social network available such as married, or living with partner or caregiver
- Functional: the support a person perceives they are getting from their social network
The researchers found that participants who
- lived with others took 903 more steps each day
- had a spouse or partner caregiver were 11 times more likely to participate in pulmonary rehabilitation
- scored higher on the functional social support questionnaire, were more likely to receive a pneumococcal vaccination, and slightly less likely to smoke
- lived with others reported high functional support
The researchers agreed that the patient’s professional healthcare team should assess whether patients are getting the necessary social support to remain healthy and committed, and, if not, try and help them gain access to a social support network.
Doctors also said there should be some way to acknowledge and support the nearly 45 million unpaid family caregivers in the United States who are responsible for most of the day-to-day care and support.
If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like PF, COPD, ILD or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Health Institute may be able to help with a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us today at 888-745-6697 to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.