Background: The incidence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is increasing and the disease is becoming an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It is important to implement evidence-based guidelines by primary care physicians (PCPs) to establish qualified management of COPD patients. The aim of this survey is to investigate the pattern of COPD management among PCPs and to apply it to the development of Korean COPD guidelines. Methods: A web-based questionnaire was prepared that consisted of 25 questions on the pattern of COPD management. A total of 217 PCPs participated in the survey from June 2006 to May 2007. Results: Many PCPs (61.8%) possessed a spirometer, but the application rate was relatively low (35.8%) and more than half of the COPD patients (57%) did not receive a diagnosis based on spirometry. Administration of oral medication was preferred than the administration of inhaled medication for both stable COPD and acutely exacerbated COPD. More than 90% of the PCPs endorsed educational measures to quit smoking and vaccinate against influenza. It was noted that 56.7% of the PCPs were aware of the GOLD guidelines, but only 7.3% tended to fully implement the recommendations of the guidelines in daily practice. Conclusion: The results of the survey indicate that despite the high awareness rate of the current COPD guidelines, deficits exist among the PCPs with respect to the diagnosis and treatment of COPD. The results of this survey should be applied for the development of new COPD guidelines in order to decrease the discrepancy between the guidelines and the daily practice of the PCPs.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Health surveys