OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to determine what patients, professionals and significant others regarded as the most important positive- and challenging aspects of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes for patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and to gain insight into how such programmes could be developed and improved.
METHOD: A modified Nominal Group Technique method was used in three consultation workshops (one with COPD patients who had recently undertaken a Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme; one with 'significant others' of the same patients; one with secondary care professionals who deliver the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programme).
RESULTS: Each of three workshops resulted in the production of approximately ten positive- and ten challenging aspects related to Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes. These were further developed by a process of thematisation into seven broad themes. The most important was ' the patient', followed by ' physical health'; jointly ranked as third were: ' mental health' and ' knowledge and education'. ' The programme' and ' professional characteristics' were jointly ranked as fifth, with ' the future' being ranked as the least important theme.
CONCLUSIONS: The modified Nominal Group Technique method allowed the development of a ranked thematic list that illustrated the important positive- and challenging aspects of Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes for patients with COPD. These themes should be core to planning future Pulmonary Rehabilitation Programmes, particularly if patients and carer views are to be considered.