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Pneumonol Alergol Pol. 2010;78(2):126-32.

[Integrated care for patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Klinika Alergologii Gdańskiego Uniwersytetu Medycznego, ul. Debinki 7, Gdańsk.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the third cause of mortality and disability (assessed by DALY) among patients above 60 year old. Severe and very severe COPD (FEV(1) = equal or less than 50% and 30% of expected value, respectively) is estimated at 20% of all COPD patients. Advanced COPD usually leads to physical and mental deterioration, the patients often manage with the problems caused by the disease and other comorbidities poorly. This leads to increased risk of COPD exacerbations and further deterioration of the patient's status, increased costs of medical care and eventually increased risk of death. Current organization of medical care for those patients does not provide adequate health and social support for them. However, it seems that introducing an integrated approach proposed by World Health Organization, could improve the situation of advanced COPD patients. In Poland, this kind of care has been provided in advanced cancer patients throughout stationary palliative care units and hospices during the last several years. This experience should be helpful in integrating actions of general practitioners and specialized nurses, as well as providing access for the specialists' consultations according to the individual needs of the patients. It should also allow for broad cooperation with auxiliary staff, such as social workers, medical assistants and volunteers, as well as psychologists and clergymen (especially in the terminal phase of the disease).

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