Patient Centered COPD Care | American Lung Association

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Patient Centered COPD Care

Patient-centered chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care is comprehensive and involves more than the diagnosis and treatment of COPD. It involves working with your patient to provide the best care possible that is in line with their goals and addresses the needs of the whole person, including their physical and emotional needs, to improve their quality of life.

Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines

COPD classifications and guidelines are the main method doctors use to describe the severity and suggested treatment of COPD. These evidenced-based care and treatment guidelines are shaped by committees made up of leading experts from around the world. Several organizations, such as the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD), have published guidelines intended for the most accurate diagnosis and treatment of COPD.

COPD Management Tool

Healthcare professionals have a significant role in helping patients manage their COPD. This COPD Management Tool is a 3-in-1 personal tool that you and your patients can use to create the best plan for them. With a plan, they will know how and when to take their medicines, when to call their healthcare provider and when to get emergency care. A management plan also helps them track how they are doing, including any concerns they may have as well as any changes in their health to discuss with their doctor. Learn more »

Tobacco Cessation

Many COPD patients struggle with tobacco cessation. Healthcare professionals can be extremely influential in connecting patients with the resources they need to quit smoking, including those offered by the American Lung Association. Learn more »

Pulmonary Rehabilitation

Pulmonary rehabilitation improves a patient's pulmonary function and mobility while providing opportunities for social interaction. Many patients don't know to ask about pulmonary rehabilitation. Familiarize yourself with pulmonary rehabilitation and be prepared to recommend it to eligible patients. Learn more »

Depression and Anxiety

Unfortunately, depression and anxiety are common in patients with COPD. Your patient may express signs of depression and anxiety to you, but they may not feel comfortable seeking help for those feelings. The possibility of emotional distress in a patient with COPD should not be ignored and it is recommended that patients be screened for anxiety and depression. Learn more »

Social Support and COPD

Often people with COPD feel isolated and may benefit from increased social support. The Lung Association offers a variety of support resources you can recommend to your patients, including a free HelpLine, an online support community, in-person support groups and a caregiving coordination service. Learn more »


    Approved by Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel. Last reviewed November 11, 2016.

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