Leading UK experts in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are calling for healthcare professionals to place greater emphasis on the impact of the disease on patients’ everyday lives when tailoring care.
This is amongst the key recommendations drawn from the results of the “Unleash the life within …” a patient’s perspective of living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Survey, which focused on the potential positive impact that a COPD patient could experience, through effective management of their physical, emotional and practical needs.
The survey of 326 people with COPD conducted in April 2008 reveals that although the disease has adverse effects on many aspects of daily life, and this impact is of most concern to patients, symptom control appears to be of greater importance to health professionals.
For example, 46% of people who took part in the survey said that being unable to walk a short distance had the most negative impact on their everyday lives.
“The results of this survey are striking. They confirm many people with COPD cannot lead the lives they want. Their COPD has a major negative impact on simple everyday activities that other people of the same age take for granted,” said Professor Martyn Partridge, collaborator on the “Unleash the life within…” report and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College London.
“In addition, the results show us that there is a disparity between what the patients want and the care they currently receive.”
Professor Partridge said health care professionals should encourage patients to attend support groups, as well as highlighting the benefits of services such as pulmonary rehabilitation.