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Fatigue and Breathlessness Groups (FAB)

The FAB (Fatigue and Breathlessness) group is a short 3 week course aimed at supporting people with advanced respiratory disease.

Each group consists of about 5-8 people with lung disease; often spouses, friends, or a family member attend as well.

Our main aim is to empower people living with severe lung conditions. The FAB group provides lots of information to help people live well despite their severe lung disease. The FAB group gives people an opportunity to meet up with others in a similar situation and to share ideas – a lot of people find this very valuable.

What is discussed in FAB groups?

The FAB group course includes information and discussion on the following:

  • Coping with breathlessness
    • Ways of managing ‘gasping’ severe breathlessness
    • The important of staying active to maintain muscle strength
       
  • Managing fatigue
    • The difficulty of only having a small pot of energy for each day
       
  • Conserving energy
    • Conserving energy in daily tasks so there is some energy left for fun things you want to do
       
  • Dealing with stress, anxiety and depression
    • How stress, anxiety and depression impact on physical health and ideas on how to restore good mental health
       
  • Oxygen
    • Why some people benefit from oxygen and others don’t
       
  • Supporting the support team (the carers)
    • Making sure the support team are looked after
       
  • Maximising life and increasing wellbeing
    • Ideas on how to put the fun back into life again
       
  • Planning for the future – what if things get worse
    • Evidence shows that people who plan for the future are more likely to get the sort of treatment they’d like, they also tend to receive more support

How does FAB work?

FAB groups are very informal.  Participants look over material beforehand (by either reading the booklet (paper or electronic) or watching a video).  People are encouraged to try out the different tips and ideas before the meeting, and the meeting time is then spent discussing the topic together.  Most people are happy to share their experiences with others; they find it useful to compare notes with other people who are in a similar situation.
 

  • Some people join a Face to Face FAB group: 
    • The group meets for one afternoon (2 hours) per week, for 3 consecutive weeks – so it is not a major commitment.
       
  • Other people join an Online Virtual FAB group:
    • An email is sent out with a link to join online.  The group meets for one afternoon (1 hour) per week, for 4 consecutive weeks.  The first week is just an introduction so we can get to know each other, and also to make sure everyone can get online okay.  The meetings are shorter online as it’s more tiring talking online.
       
  • Some people are unable to be part of a FAB group.  In this situation we can give Individual 1:1 FAB phone support;
    • We send the material out to the person, and then a few weeks later, once they have read the information, we have a telephone call with them, discussing anything that arises.  Most people attending a FAB group say that one of the best bits about it is meeting up with people in a similar situation and sharing ideas.  We therefore recommend that you attend a FAB group with other people if at all possible.
       

After the FAB group we offer everyone a 1:1 post FAB clinic consultation (via phone or face to face) with one of the ImpACT+ Respiratory Consultants or Specialist Nurses.  This is an opportunity where you can discuss anything – it is particularly useful if you want to discuss the future and how you would want to be treated if your condition deteriorates.  It is also a chance to have your whole individual case reviewed, and ask any questions you have.

The format of the Face to Face FAB group meetings

  • Week 1 – ‘Breathlessness’
  • Week 2 – ‘Fatigue’
  • Week 3 – ‘Living life to the max’

The format of the Online Virtual FAB group meetings

  • Introduction week (to iron out IT issues and to get to know each other)
  • Week 1 – ‘Breathlessness’
  • Week 2 – ‘Fatigue’
  • Week 3 – ‘Living life to the max’

What previous FAB participants have said

Previous FAB participants have said:

  • 'The course was really useful - I would recommend it to anybody
  • ‘The best thing is knowing that I am not alone – there are other people also fighting for breath and we were able to share ideas and tips for managing day to day life’
  • Being with people in the same boat made it a good place to bring any subject up without being self-conscious’
  • Listening to everyone and how they are coping with their illness – but everyone can still laugh and have a joke
  • I have run a Breathe Easy group for 15 years;  I thought I knew it all, but I don’t..‘
  •  ‘Very useful information on use of oxygen and other medication’
     

You can also listen to what previous participants have said in this short video:

how to watch in fullscreen

Meet the team

Click on link below to open ‘Meet the FAB Team’ document

Download to Meet the FAB staff team.pdf [pdf] 221KB


The short video below explains how the Online Virtual FAB group was developed as a response to the Covid Pandemic (the video was created for a PCRS abstract in Sept 2020 and so is aimed at a medical audience):

how to watch in fullscreen

How can I assess the FAB information material?

You can access the complete FAB information pack (4 booklets and 7 videos) just below this section (click on the blue bar below ‘FAB Information – the whole package’) but you might prefer to scroll down further to access the correct information for each of the FAB weeks.

Whilst most of the information is relevant to anyone with an advanced respiratory condition, some information is specific for people living in Southern Derbyshire.

The booklets and videos contain much the same material and are divided into a short introduction and then 3 weeks of material:-
 

  • Introduction
     
  • Week 1 – 'Breathlessness'
    • ways to help reduce severe acute breathlessness
    • the importance of staying active
    • information on oxygen
       
  • Week 2 – ‘Fatigue’
    • understanding fatigue coping mechanisms and an introduction to mindfulness / relaxation
       
  • Week 3 – ‘Living life to the max’
    • working out how you can enjoy life as much as possible despite the lung disease - NHS 5 Ways to Wellbeing
    • why mental health is important
    • analyse your individual situation – using the ‘hot cross bun’
    • support for carers
    • planning for the future
       

There is a choice of 2 videos for weeks 1, 2 and 3:

  • The ‘Long and Detailed’ version is about an hour long, and gives you background understanding and details.
     
  • The ‘Short and Snappy’ version is about half an hour long, and is for people who want the basic information, but nothing extra.

FAB Information - the whole package

Info for Virtual Online FAB groups

The Virtual Online FAB meetings take place on Microsoft Teams, which is similar to Zoom and other online meeting platforms.  If you are unfamiliar with Microsoft Teams you might find this document useful:

Download to find out how to use Microsoft Teams.pdf [pdf] 1MB

FAB Information - Introduction

FAB Introduction Booklet

Download FAB Introduction Booklet.pdf [pdf] 1MB


FAB Introduction Video

how to watch in fullscreen

FAB Week 1 Information - Breathlessness

Please read or watch the information this week ahead of our group meeting – if possible, try out some of the ideas suggested, you will then be able to share your experience with the group.

If watching the video, you have a choice between watching the ‘long and detailed’ version which lasts about an hour and gives you background understanding and full details, or the ‘short and snappy’ version which is about half an hour long and is for people who want the basic information, but nothing extra.

FAB Week 1 Booklet – Breathlessness

Download FAB Week 1 Booklet - Breathlessness.pdf [pdf] 3MB


FAB Week 1 Video – Breathlessness – ‘long and detailed’ version

how to watch in fullscreen


FAB Week 1 Video – Breathlessness – ‘short and snappy’ version

how to watch in fullscreen

FAB Week 2 Information - Fatigue

Please read or watch the information this week ahead of our group meeting – if possible, try out some of the ideas suggested, you will then be able to share your experience with the group.

If watching the video, you have a choice between watching the ‘long and detailed’ version which lasts about an hour and gives you background understanding and full details, or the ‘short and snappy’ version which is about half an hour long and is for people who want the basic information, but nothing extra.

FAB Week 2 Booklet – Fatigue

Download FAB Week 2 Booklet - Fatigue.pdf [pdf] 2MB


FAB Week 2 Video – Fatigue – ‘long and detailed’ version

how to watch in fullscreen


FAB Week 2 Video – Fatigue – ‘short and snappy’ version

how to watch in fullscreen

FAB Week 3 Information - Living life 'to the max'

Please read or watch the information this week ahead of our group meeting – if possible, try out some of the ideas suggested, you will then be able to share your experience with the group.

If watching the video, you have a choice between watching the ‘long and detailed’ version which lasts about an hour and gives you background understanding and full details, or the ‘short and snappy’ version which is about half an hour long and is for people who want the basic information, but nothing extra.


FAB Week 3 Booklet – Living life to the Max

Download FAB Week 3 Booklet - Living Life to the Max.pdf [pdf] 4MB


FAB Week 3  Video – Living life to the Max – ‘long and detailed’ version

how to watch in fullscreen


FAB Week 3  Video – Living life to the Max – ‘short and snappy’ version

how to watch in fullscreen