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).
- 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.
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