The aim of this service improvement project was to gain understanding of the patient experience of lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) and endobronchial valve (EBV) placement, from referral through to post-discharge care.

Focus group interviews were carried out in two tertiary centres in London and Leicester, UK. Sixteen patients who had undergone lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS), endobronchial valve (EBV) placement, or both, were recruited. Prior to participation in each focus group, participants completed a questionnaire to guide and focus discussion. Thematic analysis identified common themes to the participant experience of receiving lung volume reduction interventions.

Themes included patient focus on declining health and the need to “fight” for a referral; consequences of having procedures and potential unexpected complications; and vulnerability post discharge and limited continuity of care. Participants were clear that the benefits of having had either LVRS or EBV procedures outweighed any difficulties experienced. Participants were keen to have further similar interventions if appropriate.

These data confirm the need to develop more systematic lung volume reduction pathways, provide appropriate information, and ensure that post-discharge care is optimal.