World COPD Day 2022
Published on November 16, 2022
World COPD Day is Wednesday 16th November 2022.
This initiative is organised by the 'Global initiative for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease', GOLD. It is an opportunity to raise awareness and care of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
This year, we have looked deeper into understanding and creating awareness about the burden that the condition represents for the patients and also their carers, their main support pillar.
COPD is a chronic respiratory disease characterised by chronic inflammation of the bronchi and decreased lung capacity, causing difficulty breathing (dyspnoea) especially during exertion. The management of the condition consists of reducing symptoms, slowing the progression of the disease, and helping improve the quality of life and independence of affected individuals.
When COPD progresses to chronic respiratory failure and constitutes a disabling condition for the person, the physician may prescribe long-term home oxygen therapy and/or ventilation. When a person requires these long term treatments, living with COPD can become more difficult some days. Being supported by a carer can help the person to stay active and continue to enjoy life while still managing their disease.
In September 2022, Air Liquide Healthcare launched a global initiative to interview patients and their informal carers, through web surveys and at home meetings. This initiative was conducted in 18 countries, with more than 70 carers interviewed.The responses are important insights to help understand the daily burden that COPD represents and the physical, psychological and emotional challenges that it may bring. The condition is not only impacting the patients’ life but also those of their carers.
8 /10 carers are female.
The average age is 61 years, ranging from 20 to 90 years.
72 % live with at least 1 chronic condition.
(back problems, high blood pressure, cholesterol…)
3 /4 live together with the patient.
In the vast majority of cases, the partner is the primary carer (62%), but it can also be the patients’ children in close to ¼.
Moreover, the majority of informal carer support is provided by only one carer. Less than 1/3 of the carers reported sharing responsibility with other family members.
> 81 % have sought medical assistance
due to physical, medical or emotional challenges (anxiety, time management impairment, stress, mood disorders…)
59 % declared having experienced financial challenges
as a result of caring for a person with COPD, linked with increased cost of transport, homecare, prescriptions…
Increased support would help to relieve some of the pressure felt by the informal carers, such as healthcare professional discussions, face to face support groups, virtual group support, support for household chores… However, it appears informal carers and patients are not always fully aware of official support tools.
You can also find more information on Asthma + Lung UK (blf.org.uk) and Caring for someone 2021.pdf (blf.org.uk).
References - sources
<a href="https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/family" title="family icons">Family icons created by yut1655 - Flaticon</a> / <a href="https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/nurse" title="nurse icons">Nurse icons created by Freepik - Flaticon</a>
<a href="https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/female" title="female icons">Female icons created by Nikita Golubev - Flaticon</a>
<a href="https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/medical" title="medical icons">Medical icons created by Eucalyp - Flaticon</a>
<a href="https://www.flaticon.com/free-icons/management" title="management icons">Management icons created by ultimatearm - Flaticon</a>