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Best practice and evidence underpin COPD standards

5 August 2011 - 3:18pm

New quality standards aim to improve the care of patients with chest disease.

People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) need high-quality, cost-effective care, according to standards published by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

The NICE guidelines, launched on 29 July, consist of 13 statements that focus on the assessment, diagnosis and clinical management of COPD in adults.

Sources of evidence

chest xray detail

The standards set out to define high-quality care and were derived from examples of best practice and NHS-accredited sources of evidence.

Of particular relevance to respiratory physios is the suggestion that COPD patients should receive multidisciplinary pulmonary rehabilitation programmes that are effective, timely and accessible.

Integrated approach

The guidelines advocate an integrated approach. Services, including physiotherapy, should be commissioned and coordinated across all the agencies involved in the COPD care pathway.

They also advise that people with advanced COPD should be offered palliative care to address their physical, social and emotional needs  - a service that should be extended to their carers too.

Outcomes strategy

The NICE quality standards are designed to be used in conjunction with the outcomes strategy for COPD and asthma, previously published by the Department of Health.

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