[The evaluation of asthma and COPD awareness in Turkey (GARD Turkey Project-National Control Program of Chronic Airway Diseases)]

Füsun Yıldız, Gülbin Bingöl Karakoç, Refika Ersu Hamutçu, Nazan Yardım, Banu Ekıncı, Arzu Yorgancıoğlu
Tüberküloz Ve Toraks 2013, 61 (3): 175-82

INTRODUCTION: Although chronic respiratory disorders are important causes of morbidity and mortality, health care workers, patients and caretakers are not well informed about these disorders. Therefore these problems are underdiagnosed and undertreated; also preventive measures are not widely taken. Our aim was to evaluate the knowledge of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Turkey. This study was designed and performed as a Global Alliance Against Respiratory Disorders (GARD) project.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: People greater than 15 years of age who lived in cities with a population of 200 or greater were eligible for the study. A questionnaire including demographic data and questions regarding asthma and COPD was used for the evalution of the participants.

RESULTS: 12.000 people were selected (6000 in rural and 6000 in urban areas); 8527 people were reached. 8342 people who completed the questionnaire were included to the study. There were 4182 (50.1%) female and 4160 (%49.9) male subjects. 49.6% of the subjcets knew that COPD is a lung disease, 51.1% indicated that smoking is the most important risk factor for COPD and 48% identified quitting smoking as the most important preventive measure. Every other person had baseline knowledge on COPD. However only 25.2% knew that there are treatment options for COPD. 80% of subjects said astma can be seen in all age groups. 51.1% knew asthma is a genetic disease and 58% said it is not an infectious disease. However when whether asthma medications caused drug dependency only 27% answered as "No" while 55.2% said "They do not know".

CONCLUSION: Awareness of COPD and asthma seem to be infsufficient among Turkish people. Since these disorders are important causes of morbidity and mortality and have high impact on work and economic loss, it is important to increase knowledge among public.

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