Lung Diseases LD17, 2017 – 2017

Implementing evidence into practice to improve chronic lung disease management in Indigenous Australians: the "Breathe Easy, Walk Easy-Lungs for Life" (BE WELL) project

Funding amount



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects approximately 20% of adult Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Indigenous) people and the prevalence is even higher in remote regions of Australia. The death rate from COPD is three times higher for Indigenous Australians compared to non-Indigenous Australians and hospitalisation rates are five times higher.

Aims & objectives

In order to reduce the gap in access to best-practice management for chronic lung disease and improve health outcomes in Indigenous communities the research project aims to:

  • Evaluate the ability of the BE WELL program to enhance Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health worker knowledge, skills and confidence in the assessment and management of COPD, particularly the delivery of pulmonary rehabilitation.
  • Identify the local structural, systems and other contextual factors that will influence successful implementation and sustainability of pulmonary rehabilitation by ascertaining local solutions.
  • Determine the uptake of respiratory assessment and pulmonary rehabilitation in Aboriginal Medical Services.
  • Determine the impact of the BE WELL program on health outcomes and health care utilization and costs (particularly hospitalisations) of Indigenous people with COPD.
  • Evaluate the ability of networks, established through teleHealth technologies, to support Indigenous health workers in the management of people with COPD.

Principal Investigator

Jennifer Alison, University of Sydney, Australia

Funding organisations

  • Lung Diseases LD17
  • Australia
  • 2017 – 2017