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      Management of COPD, equal treatment across age, gender, and social situation? A register study

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          Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive chronic disease where treatment decisions should be based on disease severity and also should be equally distributed across age, gender, and social situation. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent patients with COPD are offered evidence-based interventions and how the interventions are distributed across demographic and clinical factors in the sample. Baseline registrations of demographic, disease-related, and management-related variables of 7,810 patients in the Swedish National Airway Register are presented. One-third of the patients were current smokers. Patient-reported dyspnea and health-related quality of life were more deteriorated in elderly patients and patients living alone. Only 34% of currently smoking patients participated in the smoking cessation programs, and 22% of all patients were enrolled in any patient education program, with women taking part in them more than men. Less than 20% of the patients had any contact with physiotherapists or dieticians, with women having more contact than men. Men had more comorbidities than women, except for depression and osteoporosis. Women were more often given pharmacological treatments. With increasing severity of dyspnea, participation in patient education programs was more common. Dietician contact was more common in those with lower body mass index and more severe COPD stage. Both dietician contact and physiotherapist contact increased with deteriorated health-related quality of life, dyspnea, and increased exacerbation frequency. The present study showed that COPD management is mostly equally distributed across demographic characteristics. Only a minority of the patients in the present study had interdisciplinary team contacts. Thus, this data shows that the practical implementation of structured guidelines for treatment of COPD varies, to some extent, with regard to age and gender. Also, disease characteristics influence guideline implementation for each individual patient. Quality registers have the strength to follow-up on compliance with guidelines and show whether an intervention needs to be adapted prior to implementation in health care practice.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Reduction of hospital utilization in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a disease-specific self-management intervention.

          Self-management interventions improve various outcomes for many chronic diseases. The definite place of self-management in the care of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has not been established. We evaluated the effect of a continuum of self-management, specific to COPD, on the use of hospital services and health status among patients with moderate to severe disease. A multicenter, randomized clinical trial was carried out in 7 hospitals from February 1998 to July 1999. All patients had advanced COPD with at least 1 hospitalization for exacerbation in the previous year. Patients were assigned to a self-management program or to usual care. The intervention consisted of a comprehensive patient education program administered through weekly visits by trained health professionals over a 2-month period with monthly telephone follow-up. Over 12 months, data were collected regarding the primary outcome and number of hospitalizations; secondary outcomes included emergency visits and patient health status. Hospital admissions for exacerbation of COPD were reduced by 39.8% in the intervention group compared with the usual care group (P =.01), and admissions for other health problems were reduced by 57.1% (P =.01). Emergency department visits were reduced by 41.0% (P =.02) and unscheduled physician visits by 58.9% (P =.003). Greater improvements in the impact subscale and total quality-of-life scores were observed in the intervention group at 4 months, although some of the benefits were maintained only for the impact score at 12 months. A continuum of self-management for COPD patients provided by a trained health professional can significantly reduce the utilization of health care services and improve health status. This approach of care can be implemented within normal practice.
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            Socioeconomic status and smoking: analysing inequalities with multiple indicators.

            Socioeconomic differences in smoking have been well established. While previous studies have mostly relied on one socioeconomic indicator at a time, this study examined socioeconomic differences in smoking by using several indicators that reflect different dimensions of socioeconomic position. Data derive from Helsinki Health Study baseline surveys conducted among the employees of the City of Helsinki in 2000 and 2001. The data include 6243 respondents aged 40-60 years (response rate 68%). Six socioeconomic indicators were used: education, occupational status, household income per consumption unit, housing tenure, economic difficulties and economic satisfaction. Their associations with current smoking were examined by fitting sequential logistic regression models. All socioeconomic indicators were strongly associated with smoking among both men and women. When the indicators were examined simultaneously their associations with smoking attenuated, especially when education and occupational status were considered together, and when income and housing tenure were introduced into the models already containing education and occupational status. After mutual adjustment for all socioeconomic indicators, housing tenure and economic satisfaction remained associated with smoking in men. In women, all indicators except income and economic difficulties were inversely associated with smoking after adjustments. Smoking was associated with structural, material as well as perceived dimensions of socioeconomic disadvantage. Attempts to reduce smoking among the socioeconomically disadvantaged need to target several dimensions of socioeconomic position.
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              Health-related quality of life is related to COPD disease severity

              Background The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between health-related quality of life (HRQL) and disease severity using lung function measures. Methods A survey was performed in subjects with COPD in Sweden. 168 subjects (70 women, mean age 64.3 years) completed the generic HRQL questionnaire, the Short Form 36 (SF-36), the disease-specific HRQL questionnaire; the St George's Respiratory Questionnaire (SGRQ), and the utility measure, the EQ-5D. The subjects were divided into four severity groups according to FEV1 per cent of predicted normal using two clinical guidelines: GOLD and BTS. Age, gender, smoking status and socio-economic group were regarded as confounders. Results The COPD severity grades affected the SGRQ Total scores, varying from 25 to 53 (GOLD p = 0.0005) and from 25 to 45 (BTS p = 0.0023). The scores for SF-36 Physical were significantly associated with COPD severity (GOLD p = 0.0059, BTS p = 0.032). No significant association were noticed for the SF-36, Mental Component Summary scores and COPD severity. Scores for EQ-5D VAS varied from 73 to 37 (GOLD I-IV p = 0.0001) and from 73 to 50 (BTS 0-III p = 0.0007). The SGRQ Total score was significant between age groups (p = 0.0047). No significant differences in HRQL with regard to gender, smoking status or socio-economic group were noticed. Conclusion The results show that HRQL in COPD deteriorates with disease severity and with age. These data show a relationship between HRQL and disease severity obtained by lung function.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of COPD
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                Dove Medical Press
                26 October 2016
                : 11
                : 2681-2690
                [1 ]Angered Hospital, Research and Development Department
                [2 ]The Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg
                [3 ]University of Lund, Lund
                [4 ]Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Ingela Henoch, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Institute of Health and Care Sciences, Box 457, SE-405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden, Tel +46 31 786 6092, Email ingela.henoch@
                © 2016 Henoch et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

                Original Research

                Respiratory medicine

                lung, socioeconomic status, treatments, quality register, copd


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