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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 100-105

Understanding perception of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among general practitioners, physicians, and pulmonologists in India: Results from a face-to-face survey

Department of Medical Services, Cipla Limited, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Bhumika Aggarwal
C/o Medical Services, Cipla Limited, Mumbai Central, Mumbai - 400 008, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-3485.179438

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Background: Challenges exist in the diagnosis, management and follow-up of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in India. Lack of awareness of the disease, its symptoms and its implications may significantly contribute in preventing individuals with symptoms from seeking advice from their primary care physicians or eliminating risk factors. This cross-sectional survey aimed to explore the attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge of doctors (general practitioners [GPs], physicians and pulmonologists) related to COPD recognition, diagnosis, and treatment in India. Methods: Data was collated from 91 randomly selected GPs, physicians and pulmonologists through a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews, in 8 cities of India. Results: The response rate to the survey was 68% (61 out of 91). Majority of the doctors (90% of GPs-physicians and 82% of pulmonologists) reported that patients with COPD visit them at moderate to severe stages of the disease. 44% of the GPs and physicians reported that they had never performed spirometry to make a diagnosis of COPD. About 35% of doctors reported that COPD occurred only in smokers. The most common reported barriers to the treatment of COPD were difficulty in explaining COPD to the patients, poor patient compliance to the prescribed treatment and the inability of patients to give up smoking. Most doctors agreed that compliance with treatment is a major concern in patients with COPD due to an ageing population, existence of limited therapeutic options and presence of comorbidities. Conclusion: The results of this cross-sectional survey of doctors in India, highlighted the need for increasing the awareness about COPD at both doctor and patients level to overcome the prevalent under-diagnosis and under-treatment in COPD.

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