Quality of Life Improves with Early Detection and Management of COPD

May 15, 2012

Washington, DC--The COPD Foundation announced today that expanding the awareness and education of the management of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease including early screening, diagnosis, and management, remains critical to efforts to combat this disease and improve the quality of life in COPD patients.

"The complications arising from recently published results of a Veterans Affairs study of patients with advanced, severe disease further illustrate the importance of early detection and management of COPD," said COPD Foundation President and Co-Founder John W. Walsh. "There is a large body of validated, existing research that proves that early screening, diagnosis, and treatment improves the quality of life for an individual with COPD."

Dr. Byron M. Thomashow, COPD Foundation board member and Chief Pulmonologist at Columbia University Hospital stated that patient education is important in management of individuals diagnosed with COPD. "Timely diagnosis is very important as this disease has the ability to progress quickly." He added, "Early treatment of COPD symptoms will improve the quality of life of the individual."

An editorial by Stuart J. Pocock, professor of medical statistics at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggested that even behavioral trials may have the potential for harm. He also noted, however, that two previous trials that were similar to this one showed a mortality benefit. He concluded that "all major clinical trials, including those studying behavioral interventions, should have an experienced data monitoring committee to make wise, ethical judgments when emerging interim evidence of potential harm arises."

"In fighting COPD," Walsh added, "the best treatment and management of COPD takes place with an educated patient and properly trained and qualified health care professionals including allied health such as respiratory therapists. It is for this very reason that the Foundation partnered with the American Association for Respiratory Care to develop the COPD Educator Course. The COPD Educator Course is designed for the clinician who manages patients with COPD in all health care settings. Its goal is to equip the clinician with the tools they need to manage and educate patients.”

The mission of the COPD Foundation is to develop and support programs which improve the quality of life through research, education, early diagnosis, and enhanced therapy for persons whose lives are impacted by Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.