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NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2017 Jul 20;27(1):46. doi: 10.1038/s41533-017-0046-6.

Self-management behaviour and support among primary care COPD patients: cross-sectional analysis of data from the Birmingham Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Cohort.

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Public Health, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Solihull, B91 3QB, UK.
Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.
Institute of Applied Health Research, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.


Self-management support for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients is recommended by UK national guidelines, but extent of implementation is unknown. We aimed to describe self-management behaviour and support among COPD patients and explore behaviour associated with having a self-management plan. We undertook cross-sectional analysis of self-reported data from diagnosed COPD patients in the Birmingham COPD Cohort study. Questionnaire items relevant to self-management behaviour, knowledge of COPD, receipt of self-management plans and advice from healthcare professionals were examined. Multiple regression models were used to identify behaviour associated with having a self-management plan. One-thousand seventy-eight participants (676 males, 62.7%, mean age 69.8 (standard deviation 9.0) years) were included. The majority reported taking medications as instructed (940, 94.0%) and receiving annual influenza vaccinations (962, 89.2%). Only 400 (40.4%) participants had self-management plans, 538 (49.9%) reported never having received advice on diet/exercise and 110 (42.7%) current smokers had been offered practical help to stop smoking in the previous year. General knowledge about COPD was moderate (mean total Bristol COPD Knowledge Questionnaire score: 31.5 (standard deviation 10.7); max score 65), corresponding to 48.5% of questions answered correctly. Having a self-management plan was positively associated with self-reported adherence to medication (odds ratio 3.10, 95% confidence interval 1.43 to 6.72), attendance at a training course (odds ratio 2.72, 95% confidence interval 1.81 to 4.12), attendance at a support group (odds ratio 6.28, 95% confidence interval 2.96 to 13.35) and better disease knowledge (mean difference 4.87, 95% confidence interval 3.16 to 6.58). Primary care healthcare professionals should ensure more widespread implementation of individualised self-management plans for all patients and improve the lifestyle advice provided.


CALL FOR WIDER IMPLEMENTATION OF SELF-MANAGEMENT PLANS: Health professionals should ensure all patients with chronic lung disease receive individualized self-management plans and lifestyle advice. UK national guidelines state that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) should receive personalized self-management plans and comprehensive support to help them manage their disease. Ainee Khan and colleagues at the University of Birmingham analyzed patient questionnaire data gathered during the Birmingham COPD Cohort study to explore self-management behavior, receipt of self-management plans and advice, and patient knowledge of COPD. Of 1,078 participants, only 400 had self-management plans, and less than half reported receiving lifestyle advice or support. Those with plans were more likely to adhere to medication, had greater knowledge about COPD and were more likely to attend support groups and training courses. The authors recommend carefully-planned, wider implementation of COPD self-management plans and associated support.

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