Publication Date



PLOS Digital Health


INTRODUCTION: Patients diagnosed with Interstitial Lung Diseases (ILD) use devices to self-monitor their health and well-being. Little is known about the range of devices, selection, frequency and terms of use and overall utility. We sought to quantify patients' usage and experiences with home digital devices, and further evaluate their perceived utility and barriers to adaptation.

METHODS: A team of expert clinicians and patient partners interested in self-management approaches designed a 48-question cross-sectional electronic survey; specifically targeted at individuals diagnosed with ILD. The survey was critically appraised by the interdisciplinary self-management group at Royal Devon University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust during a 6-month validation process. The survey was open for participation between September 2021 and December 2022, and responses were collected anonymously. Data were analysed descriptively for quantitative aspects and through thematic analysis for qualitative input.

RESULTS: 104 patients accessed the survey and 89/104 (86%) reported a diagnosis of lung fibrosis, including 46/89 (52%) idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) with 57/89 (64%) of participants diagnosed >3 years and 59/89 (66%) female. 52/65(80%) were in the UK; 33/65 (51%) reported severe breathlessness medical research council MRC grade 3-4 and 32/65 (49%) disclosed co-morbid arthritis or joint problems. Of these, 18/83 (22%) used a hand- held spirometer, with only 6/17 (35%) advised on how to interpret the readings. Pulse oximetry devices were the most frequently used device by 35/71 (49%) and 20/64 (31%) measured their saturations more than once daily. 29/63 (46%) of respondents reported home-monitoring brought reassurance; of these, for 25/63 (40%) a feeling of control. 10/57 (18%) felt it had a negative effect, citing fluctuating readings as causing stress and 'paranoia'. The most likely help-seeking triggers were worsening breathlessness 53/65 (82%) and low oxygen saturation 43/65 (66%). Nurse specialists were the most frequent source of help 24/63 (38%). Conclusion: Patients can learn appropriate technical skills, yet perceptions of home-monitoring are variable; targeted assessment and tailored support is likely to be beneficial.


PMID: 38190384



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.