20 January 2015
Using data from the Continuing to Confront COPD International Physician and Patient Surveys, this paper describes physicians’ attitudes and beliefs regarding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prognosis, and compares physician and patient perceptions with respect to COPD.
In 12 countries worldwide, 4,343 patients with COPD were identified through systematic screening of population samples, and 1,307 physicians who regularly saw patients with COPD were sampled from in-country professional databases. Both patients and physicians completed surveys about their COPD knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions; physicians answered further questions about diagnostic methods and treatment choices for COPD.
Most physicians (79%) responded that the long-term health outlook for patients with COPD has improved over the past decade, largely attributed to the introduction of better medications. However, patient access to medication remains an issue in many countries, and some physicians (39%) and patients (46%) agreed/strongly agreed with the statement “there are no truly effective treatments for COPD”. There was strong concordance between physicians and patients regarding COPD management practices, including the use of spirometry (86% of physicians and 76% of patients reporting they used/had undergone a spirometry test) and smoking cessation counseling (76% of physicians reported they counseled their smoking patients at every clinic visit, and 71% of smoking patients stated that they had received counseling in the past year). However, the groups differed in their perception about the role of smoking in COPD, with 78% of physicians versus 38% of patients strongly agreeing with the statement “smoking is the cause of most cases of COPD”.