PURPOSE: Caregivers play a significant role in the day-to-day management of patients with COPD and may influence clinical decision making. Nebulization is an effective mode of drug delivery for select patients with COPD; however, there are often negative perceptions related to its use in COPD. We evaluated caregivers’ attitudes and perceptions relating to the use of nebulization for the management of COPD.
METHODS: 400 caregivers of patients currently receiving nebulized therapy were randomly selected from a commercially available sample of self-identified COPD households across the United States. Caregivers were interviewed via telephone and asked questions about their attitudes and perceptions towards nebulization for their friend/family member with COPD. Caregiver’s responses (on behalf of their friend or family member) were assessed on the basis of 3 domains: perception of severity of symptoms, satisfaction with nebulization therapy, and benefits and challenges. The caregiver role was also evaluated. The survey was commissioned by the COPD Foundation and Dey Pharma, L.P., and executed by KRC Research.
RESULTS: The majority of caregivers (63%) were female and ≥65 years of age. Most caregivers (62%) identified themselves as the spouse of the person with COPD, with 54% playing a "significant (major or moderate) role" in the patient’s nebulization therapy. The caregivers reported that nebulization "made it easier to care for their friend/family member" (86%), "improved their friend/family member’s quality of life" (82%), and that the "benefits of nebulization outweighed any difficulties" (85%). Further, 65% "wished that their friend/family member had been placed on nebulized therapy sooner.".
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that caregivers positively view the role of nebulization therapy for the care of their friends/family members. Overall, these data do not support the current negative perception that nebulization may be too cumbersome for the patient and/or caregiver.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Caregivers play a significant role in the day-to-day management of patients with COPD. Clinicians should consider caregiver perceptions when choosing a system to deliver inhaled medications for their patients with COPD.
DISCLOSURE: Amir Sharafkhaneh, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information