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My COPD Action Plan

Resource Type: Educational Materials

This action plan, designed to improve communication between individuals with COPD and their providers as well as encourage disease self-management, was created by the COPD Foundation in 2016 and updated in 2018. Use of the tool, which employs a "stop light" model, can be initiated by the patient or by the health care provider.

The unique feature of this action plan is the activity list. When surveying physician leaders involved in the tool's development, they reported wanting a greater understanding of those activities in which patients are both able and unable to engage; this information can help providers to understand their patient's limitations of activity and adjust their treatment accordingly.

The plan features actions to take for green, yellow and red days. Special medications can be listed for each patient on what to do if experiencing a yellow and red day. The activity list should only be used when the patient is going to visit the doctor and is a reflection of what they can do when they are having a typical green day. Discussion should continue from there, realizing that today may not be a green day and that may be why they are in the doctor's office.

The My COPD Action Plan can be used daily and should be updated every six months. The companion to the action plan is the Report Early Signs of Exacerbation. This is intended to be posted on the refrigerator. It tells the patient and loved ones what to do and what to look for when a flare-up is approaching. Hence, this should trigger what to do on yellow and red days on the My COPD Action Plan.

An interactive My COPD Action Plan is available in the Patient and Caregiver Track of the COPD Foundation Pocket Consultant Guide app.


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Citation: The COPD Foundation. My COPD Action Plan. Published .January 2016. Accessed March 12, 2020.
caregiver & community exacerbations patient education promising practices risk stratification treatment


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