Creating a Partnership with Patients and Providers for Airway Clearance Therapy

What is IMPACT?

The Individual Management of Patient Airway Clearance Therapy (IMPACT) Program was created to address the long-standing gap in education around airway clearance options for people with bronchiectasis. In close collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of physicians and other healthcare professionals, the AffloVest team has developed a series of non-branded educational resources that are ready for use by bronchiectasis care teams across the country with patients who are either new to airway clearance or open to adding a different option to their daily routine.

IMPACT BE provides a structured tool set that bronchiectasis patients and healthcare providers can use together to help assess, evaluate, and educate on airway clearance treatment (ACT) options at no cost. IMPACT is informed by evidence-based approaches and best practices from across the pulmonary care category.

Visit the IMPACT-BE Website

Importance of Patient Education

Some airway clearance treatments can be complicated and time consuming, leading to issues with adherence to the treatment plan. Treatment adherence has been shown to be low in bronchiectasis and affects important health outcomes including exacerbations. The negative consequences linked to poor treatment adherence in chronic respiratory diseases such as bronchiectasis include higher health care costs, reduced quality of life, increased exacerbations, and the potential for earlier mortality.1

Understanding the importance of utilizing a variety of treatments and therapy options can be difficult for patients, care givers and loved ones. Providing information and education on the various treatment options available may encourage adherence to treatment plans by selecting and adapting a treatment approach that is patient centered. Educating patients with bronchiectasis is recommended, including explanations of the disease, recognition and importance of exacerbations, different treatment approaches and a personalized management plan.2

Providing Patient Resources

A recent article written by Dr. Katy Hester states that suitable patient information could lead to a level of self-management that results in clinically and biologically important endpoints in bronchiectasis.3  In order to develop patient friendly resources, the underlying needs and issues surrounding information for patients with bronchiectasis must first be fully identified. Educational resources should be available in various settings and formats.

Patients should be able to interact with these various resources and access the information as they need it, when they need it, and avoid what they may not need or want to know. Using healthcare experts across the multidisciplinary team, patients and care givers to co-produce high quality information and education resources is an important step towards facilitating self-management advancements, improvements in adherence and consequent physical and psychological health improvements in bronchiectasis.4 Patient education and cooperation with health-care providers to implement treatment plans are key to successful management of bronchiectasis.

According to a recent NTM survey of almost 700 patients5:

  • Patients believe ACT is an important component in helping them to feel better
    • Yet, only 31% of physicians recommended ACT within first month of diagnosis
  • All patients engage in some form of ACT when recommended by their physicians
    • Yet, 50% of patients don’t perform ACT when traveling
  • Overall, 27% of patients are dissatisfied with their current ACT routine
  • Noise and lack of portability are some listed reasons for non-compliance where 36% of patients say ACT disrupts daily life

Educating bronchiectasis patients on the benefits of airway clearance therapy and various treatment options available can help drive greater treatment compliance for improved health benefits.


  1. McCullough, Amanda R, Tunney, Michael M, Quittner, Alexandra L, Elborn, J Stuart, Bradley, Judy and Hughes, Carmel M (2014) Treatment adherence and health outcomes in patients with bronchiectasis.BMC Pulmonary Medicine, 14 . p. 107.
  2. Pasteur MC, Bilton D, Hill AT. British Thoracic Society guideline for non-CF bronchiectasis. 2010;65(Suppl 1)
  3. Hester et al. BMC Patient information, education and self-management in bronchiectasis: facilitating improvements to optimize health outcomes. BMC Pulmonary Medicine (2018) 18:80
  4. Hester KLM, McAlinden P, De Soyza A. Education and information for patients with bronchiectasis: what do patients want? Eur Respir J. 2011; 38(supplement 35):P3622.
  5. NTM Info & Research Survey. An Exploration of Bronchiectasis and Airway Clearance Therapy. Respiratory Therapy 2020; 15 : P30.