PURPOSE: Patient education is important in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The aim of this study was to assess information needs and knowledge in the areas of pulmonary function, disease outcome, medication use and disease management in patients with COPD.
METHODS: Two self-administered questionnaires were completed by patients. The validated Lung Information Needs Questionnaire (LINQ) provides data on what areas of information have and have not been provided to patients. Higher total scores in the LINQ define a greater need for information. The second questionnaire was previously developed at Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) and includes 27 questions on lung anatomy and function, pathophysiology, and treatment of COPD. Higher total scores in the MSH questionnaire equate with a greater level of knowledge.
RESULTS: Of the 80 subjects, 47% were men, 87% were ex-smokers and 52% did not finish high school. Mean ± SD age and years since diagnosis of COPD were 69 ± 9 and 9 ± 7 years respectively. Mean FEV1 was 1.1 ± 0.6, (45 ± 23 % predicted). Total need for information assessed by the LINQ was 29±14%, patients had a 52±34% and 43±25% need for more information on diet and self-management respectively while they had less need for education on medication and exercise. The average total score for the MSH questionnaire was 71±13%. Patients were more knowledgeable about treatment for COPD and pathophysiology, scoring 76±20% and 71±17% respectively. Disease self-management questions received the lowest correct responses, average 60±14%. There was a positive relationship between having had a prior education session on COPD and total scores in both the LINQ and MSH questionnaires (p< 0.01). There was no correlation between age, gender or FEV1 and total scores.
CONCLUSION: Patients are receiving knowledge and information on their COPD. However a need has been identified for more information on self-management.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Health care workers must continue to provide knowledge and information to patients with COPD so they can improve the management of their disease.
DISCLOSURE: Adrienne Scott, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information