NIH finds communication a barrier to COPD treatment

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

BETHESDA, Md. - To more effectively treat COPD, patients and their doctors need to have open, detailed conversations, a web-based study by the National Institutes of Health has found. Current smokers are likely to talk with their doctors about COPD symptoms (82%), but former smokers, who are also at risk, are not (37%), according to the study, which was released Nov. 15. "A good conversation between patients and providers about COPD can make a real difference for disease sufferers,” said James Kiley, director of National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Division of Lung Diseases. “It’s no secret that early diagnosis and treatment can improve daily living for those who have COPD—but you can’t get there without an open dialogue in the exam room.” The study says continuing to increase awareness of the disease and its symptoms will help improve patient-provider communications and treatment of the disease.