Impaired lung function is a cardinal feature in people with various chronic respiratory diseases, which is predominantly treated pharmacologically with additional smoking cessation if appropriate. Despite optimal medical treatment, many people with respiratory disease still experience daily physical, psychological and social limitations [1, 2]. As the degree of lung function impairment only partially explains these daily limitations, diagnostics and management must focus beyond biomedical and pharmacological approaches. Therefore, the role of allied respiratory professionals is essential within comprehensive disease management programmes, including adequate diagnostics, disease monitoring, and tailored non-pharmacological therapy options. Scientific and educational activities around allied respiratory care are covered by European Respiratory Society (ERS) Assembly 9 “Allied Respiratory Professionals”, which has consisted so far of three scientific working groups: 09.01 “Respiratory Function Technologists/Scientists”, 09.02 “Physiotherapists”, and 09.03 “Nurses”. During the ERS General Assembly meeting, which took place during the virtual ERS International Congress 2020, a new ERS Assembly 9-related scientific working group was ratified: 09.04 “Psychologists and Behavioural Scientists”. So, the ERS and its Assembly 9 are taking the next step towards multidisciplinary respiratory care, by fostering scientific and educational activities around psychology and behaviour change across the eight main disease domains: airway diseases, interstitial lung diseases, paediatric respiratory diseases, pulmonary vascular diseases, respiratory critical care, respiratory infections, sleep and breathing disorders, and thoracic oncology. This scientific working group is inclusive of individuals with a variety of professional backgrounds who support psychological and behavioural aspects of respiratory care, in order to improve clinical practice, education and research. In this editorial, we introduce the added value of the future ERS scientific working group 09.04.
- Multidisciplinary respiratory care