Study shows patient support for new protocols to manage COPD exacerbations in hospital

A summary of research published in ERJ Open Research

Research has found that patients are supportive of new proposals to manage COPD flare ups – also known as exacerbations – in hospital.

Healthcare professionals have recently agreed on the best way to assess and manage exacerbations in hospital. Until now, there has been a lack of agreement on this.

A second study has now gathered patient feedback on the proposals. The study used an online survey of 200 people living in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. The European Lung Foundation COPD Patient Advisory Group helped to design the survey.

What are the new proposals?

The first study outlines different processes that experts agreed were important when someone with COPD experiences an exacerbation. This included the following steps:

  • A detailed history and examination should be taken when patients go to hospital.
  • Blood tests looking at several factors are needed within 4 hours of arriving at hospital.
  • Tests to look at breathlessness and a questionnaire looking at how severe a person’s COPD is should be completed during an exacerbation and during follow-up.
  • Clinicians should consider talking about palliative care with patients, if required, when they arrive at hospital.

What do the results of the patient study show?

The patients confirmed that all selected outcomes and experiences were important. The results also showed that patients accepted the ways of managing an exacerbation outlined in the new protocols.

Why is this important?

Gaining patient support is an important part of making changes for patient care. The results of this patient survey support the use of new ways to assess and manage COPD exacerbations in hospital. The new protocols can deliver standardised patient-centred care across the world. This will also help improve data collection to understand more about COPD exacerbations.

Read the original research paper:

Title: Patients’ acceptance of outcome and experience measurements during hospitalisation for COPD exacerbations: a CICERO Clinical Research Collaboration–European Lung Foundation online patient survey

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