Objective: When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic there was concern that people living with asthma were at high-risk of poor outcomes. We aimed to explore the psychological impact of living with asthma in the United Kingdom during the pandemic.
Methods and Measures: Our mixed methods study, co-designed with patient and public involvement colleagues, included an online survey to detect anxiety/depression/post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and health beliefs; and qualitative interviews. We recruited 849 participants for the survey and interviewed 26 between May and June 2020. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim, and analysed thematically.
Results: The survey identified that 77% of respondents were experiencing symptoms of anxiety, 77% were experiencing symptoms of depression, and PTSD was of concern for 61%. Two-thirds of respondents felt the pandemic had changed how they managed their asthma (n=568, 66.9%), and over half felt that they had not been given adequate health information about COVID-19 (n=495, 58.3%). Qualitative interviews identified five themes 1) health communication 2) interaction with healthcare 3) COVID-19 related concerns 4) impact on mental health 5) behaviour change.
Conclusion: Psychological distress was prevalent in people with asthma during the early stage of the pandemic. Understanding this may be useful to inform future healthcare/policy planning.
COVID-19; coronavirus; asthma; anxiety; depression; mental health; lockdown; survey; qualitative; mixed methods; patient experience


This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

Cite as

Jackson, T., McClatchey, K., Chan, A., Morgan, N., Kinley, E. & Pinnock, H. 2023, 'Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people with asthma: A co-produced mixed-methods study', Psychology & Health. https://doi.org/10.1080/08870446.2023.2256784

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Last updated: 19 September 2023
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