Feature Article

Precis of the COPD guidelines (the 'even more concise' guide to COPD)

Ian Yang, Christine McDonald, Eli Dabscheck



Guidance on the management of COPD in primary care is provided in this summary of recommendations made in the current Australian COPD-X guidelines.

This article was first published in the Medicine Today supplement COPD: behind the guidelines in July 2015 and has been updated in this issue (December 2015).

Key Points

  • COPD, a common, complex, chronic disease, is associated with significant morbidity and mortality.
  • Simple COPD screening devices may help in determining patients who should proceed to formal spirometry, which is essential to confirm a COPD diagnosis.
  • Smoking cessation is key in preventing COPD and improves prognosis.
  • Pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapies can improve symptoms, quality of life and exercise capacity and reduce exacerbations.
  • Comorbidities are common in patients with COPD and require targeted treatment, ideally through an individualised chronic disease care plan.
  • Exacerbations require prompt treatment to prevent progressive functional deterioration and the likelihood of hospitalisation and death.

    Picture credit: © Echo Medical Media