Comprehensive care of the patient with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Joyce S Lee, Sally McLaughlin, Harold R Collard
Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine 2011, 17 (5): 348-54

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recently, an expert committee endorsed by the American Thoracic Society, European Respiratory Society, Japanese Respiratory Society, and the Latin American Thoracic Society published an evidence-based guideline on the management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In the current document, we summarize and supplement this recent expert document and propose a comprehensive approach to the care and management of patients with IPF.

RECENT FINDINGS: We propose three pillars of care for the patient with IPF titled 'disease-centered management', 'symptom-centered management', and 'education and self-management'. Disease-centered management involves both pharmacological and nonpharmacological approaches. Palliative care should be an integral and routine component of the care of patients with IPF. Education and self-management strengthens the provider-patient partnership by enabling patients to set realistic goals, remain in control of his or her care, and prepare for the future.

SUMMARY: The comprehensive care of the patient with IPF involves balancing the three pillars of disease-centered management, symptom-centered management, and patient education and self-management upon a solid foundation of provider-patient partnership. Constant reassessment of the individual patient's goals of care, based on their values and preferences, is essential to the constant recalibration of these various interventions.

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