Treatment Burden Discussion in Clinical Encounters: Priorities of COPD Patients, Carers and Physicians

Adem Sav, Sarah T. Thomas, Magnolia Cardona, Zoe A. Michaleff, Claudia Caroline Dobler

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Abstract

Purpose: Many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) feel overburdened with the treatment and management of their illness. Although research has begun to shed light on how COPD patients experience treatment burden, most of what we know is limited to personal experiences of patients. The aim of this study is to identify and prioritise areas of treatment burden that should be discussed during the clinical encounter from the perspectives of COPD patients, carers, and respiratory physicians.
Patients and Methods: Data were collected from participants using the nominal group technique. Five nominal group sessions were conducted in total (n = 31); three sessions with patients (n = 18), one with carers (n = 7) and another with respiratory physicians (pulmonologists or chest physicians) (n = 6). Each session was recorded and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: Going beyond understanding patients’ and carers’ experiences of treatment burden, this study offers a practical viewpoint of what should be discussed in a clinical encounter. Each group of participants contextualized treatment burden issues for discussion from their own perspectives. There was strong agreement, however, across the groups that difficulties accessing healthcare, lack of education and information, and worry about COPD treatment and prognosis were the most important treatment burden priorities for discussion.
Conclusion: Understanding and creating opportunities to discuss these issues in a clinical encounter is important in not only reducing treatment burden but also improving health outcomes and quality of life for COPD patients and their carers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1929—1942
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of COPD
Volume2022
Issue number17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2022

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