Can we discuss end of life care with patients with COPD?

Nuno Caixinha Tavares - Staff Nurse at Queen Alexandra Hospital Clinical Academic Fellow in the University of Southampton NIHR CLAHRC Wessex - Theme 1 – Integrated Respiratory Care
Nuno Caixinha Tavares – Staff Nurse at Queen Alexandra Hospital
Clinical Academic Fellow in the University of Southampton
NIHR CLAHRC Wessex – Theme 1 – Integrated Respiratory Care

I’m Nuno Tavares, a staff nurse at Queen Alexandra Hospital and I’m also a PhD student carrying out research for NIHR CLAHRC Wessex and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust. My research is about improving end of life care for patients with COPD.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is characterised as a slowly progressive disease, with advanced disease frequently resulting in increased exacerbations and hospital admissions, the need for life-saving interventions, and poor quality of life. Moreover, COPD is often associated with breathlessness, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, anorexia and restricted mobility.

COPD is the leading cause of respiratory related deaths and is the fourth overall leading cause of death in the world. In the UK, an estimate of 3 million people have COPD, with 2 million of them remaining undiagnosed, in total COPD is responsible for around 30,000 deaths every year.

The quality and the proportion of patients with COPD who receive palliative care compare poorly to the care received by patients with cancer. Several studies show that most patients do not discuss end of life issues with their physicians, even though they may wish to. Figures show that around 77% of all patients never discussed end of life care with their healthcare professional, yet about 62% report the desire to have such conversations. The vast majority of patients believe that their physicians do not understand their preferences for end-of-life care. My research specifically looks at end of life care discussions between healthcare professionals, such as doctors and nurses, and patients with COPD. The development of this research will improve standards of end of life care for people with COPD and their relatives, enable healthcare professionals to start conversations in an early stage, reduce hospital admissions, reduce futile treatments and reduce overall costs.

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7 thoughts on “Can we discuss end of life care with patients with COPD?”

  1. Dear Margaret, thank you very much for your interest in the study. Although bronchiectasis is slightly different from COPD, they have some similarities, especially some of the symptoms. If you required any more information, please feel free to contact me. In the meantime, I will be keeping the blog updated with more information about the study. Thank you very much

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Claricwessex, Many thanks for your kind efforts to find the leaflet from BFL on Bronchiectasis I appreciate it very much. Good wishes for your work. MargaretBell

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