Support needs of patients with COPD: a systematic literature search and narrative review
A Carole Gardener, Gail Ewing, Isla Kuhn and Morag Farquhar
Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis 2018;13: 1021–35.
Patients living with advanced stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience loss of functionality and high levels of psycho-social distress. Understanding how they regard their support needs is key to providing holistic, person-centred care. Existing reviews have focused on patient difficulties (e.g. breathlessness), requirements for specific aspects of supportive input (e.g. nursing care), support in understanding COPD, and managing personal care and practical tasks. However, none of these reviews has comprehensively outlined the full range of underlying support needs people can experience.
Morag Farquhar and colleagues have undertaken a systematic review of the relevant literature to assess the full range of support needs of people with advanced-stage COPD. The aim of the review was to develop an evidence-based tool to help the team identify and talk to healthcare professionals about their needs. The inclusion criteria for the systematic review stipulated that all papers be primary research published in peer-reviewed journals in English, that some or all of the participants (aged >18 years) be patients with COPD, and that the support needs be identified by those patients.
The findings from this review enable clinicians to enhance patient support and researchers to develop evidence-based interventions. It highlights commonalities and differences in the support needs of patients living with COPD compared with those living with other life-threatening conditions, thereby adding to the thinking that goes into end-of-life care, which fully integrates long-term conditions.