Author(s): Rutschmann OT, Janssens JP, Vermeulen B, Sarasin FP
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVES: To evaluate primary care physicians' knowledge of guidelines for the management of COPD. METHOD: Survey to 455 primary care physicians in private practice in the state of Geneva, Switzerland, and to 243 physicians practicing in Geneva University Hospital. RESULTS: Although 75\% of respondents identified that the prevalence of COPD was increasing and 33\% recognized it as a major public health issue, only 55\% of physicians used spirometric criteria to define COPD, and one-third knew the correct GOLD criteria. Fifty-two percent felt uncomfortable with smoking cessation counselling. Sixty-two percent administered influenza vaccination annually and 29\% had immunized their patients against Pneumococcus. Beta2-agonists were the first-line treatment for 89\% of physicians, but 10\% overestimated their clinical benefit. Twenty-five percent of respondents used systematically inhaled corticosteroids, but 46\% ignored their indications. Oral corticosteroids were used by 42\% of physicians outside of acute exacerbations. Seventy-nine percent thought that oral steroids had a beneficial effect on stable COPD. Finally, pulmonary rehabilitation was underused by 72\% of physicians. CONCLUSIONS: This study shows major gaps in the knowledge of all core elements of guidelines for the management of COPD and identifies targets for future educational programs.
This article was published in Respir Med
and referenced in Journal of Pulmonary & Respiratory Medicine