Addressing COPD, China
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in China. There are a number of causes of this including tobacco smoking, genetic susceptibility and indoor air pollution from the use of solid fuels. COPD is a disease characterised by persistent airflow limitations that is usually progressive and not fully reversible. The burden of disease is high as it leads to disability and impairs quality of life. It also has a large economic burden on patients costing nearly 40% of an average annual income for people living in urban and rural areas of China.
In Guangzhou, China, a nurse-led respiratory service for COPD has improved the lives of many patients. The clinic has focused on patients with COPD who are at high risk of representation to the hospital. The programme includes risk stratification of patients, a holistic needs assessment of the patient, home visitation as required, patient empowerment and a 24 hour contact service. The programme has reduced acute exacerbations, improved healthrelated quality of life and reduced medical expenses to patients.