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Journal of Community Nursing (JCN) | June 2014

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Community management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Community management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Respiratory

Pages: 51 - 56

Article topics: Assessment, Screening, Self-management

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a serious, long-term and irreversible disease, which obstructs airflow to the lungs due to inflammation of the air passages and lung tissue damage. The most debilitating and frightening symptom is breathlessness, which can affect an individual's ability to walk, exercise, work, socialise, sleep and eat, thus having a major impact on all activities of daily living. This article aims to provide an overview of COPD to facilitate a general understanding of the disease, assist community nurses with early identification for prompt

detection and highlight the pathways and management options available. Due to its complexity, COPD can be challenging for both patients and healthcare professionals, thus the earlier it is diagnosed and management plans started, the sooner its progression can be slowed and any impact reduced.