Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs associated with progressive disability. Although general practitioners (GPs) should play an important role in the COPD management, critical issues have been documented in the primary care setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program for the improvement of the COPD management in a Sicilian general practice setting. The effectiveness of the program, was evaluated by comparing 15 quality-of-care indicators developed from data extracted by 33 GPs, at baseline vs. 12 and 24 months, and compared with data from a national primary care database (HSD). Moreover, data on COPD-related and all-cause hospitalizations over time of COPD patients, was measured. Overall, 1,465 patients (3.2%) had a registered diagnosis of COPD at baseline vs. 1,395 (3.0%) and 1,388 (3.0%) over time (vs. 3.0% in HSD). COPD patients with one spirometry registered increased from 59.7% at baseline to 73.0% after 2 years (vs. 64.8% in HSD). Instead, some quality of care indicators where not modified such as proportion of COPD patients treated with ICS in monotherapy that was almost stable during the study period: 9.6% (baseline) vs. 9.9% (after 2 years), vs. 7.7% in HSD. COPD-related and all-cause hospitalizations of patients affected by COPD decreased during the two observation years (from 6.9% vs. 4.0%; from 23.0% vs. 18.9%, respectively). Our study showed that educational program involving specialists, clinical pharmacologists and GPs based on training events and clinical audit may contribute to partly improve both diagnostic and therapeutic management of COPD in primary care setting, despite this effect may vary across GPs and indicators of COPD quality of care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health