Disease awareness in patients with COPD: measurement and extent
Ilaria Baiardini, Paola Rogliani, Pierachille Santus, et al.
Intl J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2019;14:1–11.
Patient awareness of COPD is poorly investigated, and no validated questionnaires are available. The greater the patient awareness of the disease and its management, the more likely their active engagement will be, resulting in better COPD care. While patient education is essential for successful management, the concept of ‘awareness’ can be extended beyond information and knowledge of the diagnosis and disease features. It could also include domains that establish the full awareness of the disease, its consequences and burden, as well as the understanding of the need for a therapeutic regimen.
The aims of this study were two-fold: (1) to develop a tool for measuring different dimensions of a COPD patient’s awareness (DACQ), and (2) to validate the tool in patients participating in the SAT study.
DACQ is comprised of 20 statements (generated by physicians and experts in health psychology and based on patients’ input and literature search), grouped into four domains, that gauge the COPD patient’s knowledge, acceptance and perception of COPD, and their awareness of treatment needs. SAT study patients were asked to complete the questionnaire with the study items.
DACQ provides both a total score and specific scores about (1) the mastery of a correct knowledge on COPD characteristics, (2) the level of subjective view on necessity and role of COPD therapy, and (3) how the patient perceives COPD in terms of features and consequences, and (4) the individual acceptance of thoughts and feelings related to COPD. DACQ was easily understood by patients and showed good reliability in terms of internal consistency.
These findings highlighted that, while the patients’ knowledge about COPD is satisfactory, their acceptance and perception of the disease need to be enhanced. This incomplete awareness of patients cared for in a specialist setting provides the basic data for developing strategies for improving disease awareness in COPD patients.