How to unveil chronic respiratory diseases in clinical practice? A model of alliance between general practitioners and pulmonologists

Alida Benfante, Nicola Scichilone, Alida Benfante, Vito Milazzo, Riccardo Messina

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1 Citazioni (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Asthma and COPD are under-diagnosed and undertreated in adult populations, mainly due to the discrepancy between guideline recommendations and clinicians' practices. One of the reasons of this discrepancy is the difficulty encountered in real life in sharing the management of chronic respiratory diseases between general practitioners (GPs) and respiratory physicians. Methods An explorative, population-based investigation was performed to test whether, and to what extent, an active collaboration between GPs and pulmonologists increases the diagnosis and proper treatment of chronic obstructive airway diseases. The “COPD action” involved an in-house intervention by pulmonologists who trained GPs on how to diagnose the disease and interpret the spirometry, yielding a final agreed diagnosis. Results A total of 210 subjects (M/F: 156/54; age: 62.5 ± 13.8, mean ± SD) were consecutively invited by 20 GPs and classified in a) healthy, b) symptomatic with no airway obstruction, and 3) affected by chronic respiratory diseases. 11% of previously defined “healthy” subjects were diagnosed with COPD, and symptomatic subjects were diagnosed with asthma (20%) or COPD (23%). In addition, in those who already carried a diagnosis of chronic respiratory diseases as judged by GPs, the diagnosis of COPD decreased significantly after respiratory specialist intervention (p = 0.001), in favor of asthma and chronic bronchitis. Furthermore, following the clinical and lung function assessments performed by the respiratory physicians, changes in inhaled treatments were statistically significant for each therapeutic category (test-retest reliability: r = 0.42; p < 0.001). Conclusion In conclusion, the collaboration between GPs and pulmonologists based on a pro-active approach to the individuals attending the primary care offices followed by an in-house intervention by specialists may largely improve the diagnosis and management of chronic respiratory diseases.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)106-110
Numero di pagine5
RivistaPULMONARY PHARMACOLOGY &amp; THERAPEUTICS
Volume44
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2017

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Biochemistry, medical
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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