PURPOSE: Chronic Obstructive lung Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in the USA and smoking cessation is the single most important factor in curbing this menace. To the best of our knowledge, not many studies in the past evaluated the success or failure of the campaign against smoking in those already diagnosed with the disease.
METHODS: To be included in the study, candidates must have clinical features of airflow limitation as well as meet the criteria for COPD using the FEV1/FVC ratio of less than 70% as guideline. Questionnaires were then mailed to their homes and the responses kept anonymous by omitting name in the return envelop. A total of seventy-one patients responded at the time of writing and data were analyzed based on the answers provided by these respondents.
RESULTS: The average patient age of the study group was 58.7 + 11.8 years, ranging from 35 to 89 years of age. The median age was 59 years.Patients with a general knowledge of COPD displayed a willingness to quit, but was not found to be statistically significant, p> 0.05 when compared to those without knowledge of the disease. Those who knew they have COPD showed more willingness to quit smoking. This was statistically significant, p = 0.0089. There was no statistical difference in willingness to quit between those patients counseled by physicians on smoking cessation and those who were not, p=0.394.
CONCLUSION: Sheer knowledge that a disease entity called COPD exists and has a relationship with cigarette smoking does not propel a good number of the sufferers to quit smoking, if they are unaware of their diagnosis. However, upon realising they have the diagnosis of COPD, most patients are willing to quit. Physician counseling does not significantly influence the decision of these patients on whether or not to quit.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: COPD is a cause of significant mortality. Making sufferers aware of their condition and the health implications of the disease make them willing partners in their own care.
DISCLOSURE: Osmund Agbo, None.