Global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: GOLD opportunity for lung disorders

M Minas, K Dimitropoulos, Ch Pastaka, D Papadopoulos, N Markoulis, K I Gourgoulianis
Preventive Medicine 2005, 40 (3): 274-7

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess the agreement of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment prescribed by physicians and pulmonologists in comparison to asthma and COPD guidelines and the need of the implementation of COPD guidelines in primary health care physicians.

METHODS: Eighty-three asthma patients and 100 COPD patients were chosen and classified in relation to the agreement of their treatment prescribed by a health care physician and that mentioned by global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) The COPD patients were classified according to their stage of the disease too.

RESULTS: Both pulmonologists and primary health care physicians manage asthma patients following asthma guidelines, while great proportion of COPD patients are undertreated by primary health care physicians. The proportion of undertreated COPD patients is decreased as the stage of disease is progressing.

CONCLUSIONS: COPD patients mainly are undertreated by primary health care physicians when they are in the primary stages of the disease. The overtreatment of some patients consists of high doses of inhaled steroids prescribed by both pulmonologists, and mainly, primary health care physicians. Therefore, it can be concluded that there is the need of the implementation of COPD guideline by primary health care physicians and the need of COPD patients to be diagnosed in early stages by performing spirometry.

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