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COPD. 2013 Aug;10(4):482-92. doi: 10.3109/15412555.2013.773302. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Perceptions and attitudes toward the use of nebulized therapy for COPD: patient and caregiver perspectives.

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Section of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Although delivery of medications through nebulization is effective for patients with COPD, nebulization is often perceived negatively. This survey evaluated patient and caregiver attitudes and perceptions related to the use of nebulization for the management of COPD. A total of 400 patients and a separate population of 400 caregivers were randomly selected and interviewed via telephone. Responses were assessed on the basis of 4 domains: health of patients with COPD, satisfaction with nebulization therapy, benefits and challenges, and the caregiver role. Most patients (58%) self-classified their COPD as "mild to moderate," with shortness of breath upon minimal to moderate exertion; caregivers reported similar findings. The majority of patients and caregivers (89% and 92%, respectively) were "generally satisfied with their (or their friend's or family member's) current nebulized treatment." Based on their personal experiences, 80% of patients and caregivers reported that using a nebulizer was better than using only an inhaler. Patients and caregivers agreed (79% and 85%, respectively) that the benefits of nebulization therapy outweighed the difficulties or inconveniences. Patients believed that their overall quality of life had improved since beginning nebulization (75%) and that nebulization better enabled their caregiver to provide care (77%); caregivers echoed this sentiment. Overall, this survey demonstrated that an overwhelming majority of patients and caregivers were satisfied with nebulization therapy, reporting benefits in symptom relief, ease of use, and improved quality of life.

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