Feature Article

Partners in COPD management in the primary care setting

Paul Cafarella, Tanja Effing, Kerry Hancock, Peter Frith
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The development, integration and training of a team of partners in COPD care can reduce a patient’s behavioural risk factors and optimise positive behaviour change.

This article was first published in the Medicine Today supplement COPD: behind the guidelines in July 2015.

Key Points

  • Primary care is the most appropriate setting to co-ordinate care for patients with COPD because it is widely accessible, person-centred and addresses both physical and emotional health needs.
  • An estimated 50% of patients with chronic disease do not adhere to recommended medications, and similar high rates of nonadherence have been reported in studies of patients with COPD.
  • Practitioners should be aware of the significant impact of anxiety and depression on patients with COPD and encourage and facilitate patient engagement with effective treatments.
  • Incorporating in practice the concepts of assessing readiness, tailoring information, assessing health literacy, motivational interviewing and goal setting to improve the outcomes of patients with COPD is encouraged.
  • Although patients’ symptoms need to be well managed when end of life is approaching, it is also important to ensure personal, social and psychological support is in place.
  • Carers of patients with COPD report that they would feel better equipped to perform their duties with education, inclusion and skills training.

    Picture credit: © Robert Decelis Ltd, Getty Images.