Hong Kong Med J 2011;17:306–14 | Number 4, August 2011
Treatment of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as practised in a defined Hong Kong community: a cross-sectional pilot survey
WC Yu, Emily LB Tai, SN Fu, KC Kwong, YC Yeung, Y Chang, YK Yiu, CM Tam
Department of Medicine and Geriatrics, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To examine the characteristics of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients of the Kwai-Tsing area, Hong Kong, and the chronic treatments they received.
DESIGN. Cross-sectional survey.
SETTING. Four clinic settings in Hong Kong: Respiratory Specialist Clinic, Princess Margaret Hospital (group 1); Medical Specialist Clinics, Princess Margaret Hospital (group 2); General Outpatient Clinics, Princess Margaret Hospital (group 3); South Kwai Chung Chest Clinic, Department of Health (group 4).
PATIENTS. Thirty physician-diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients in each of the above groups with post-bronchodilator 1-second forced expiratory volume/forced vital capacity ratios of less than 70% predicted values, who had been followed up at any of the participating clinics for at least 6 months.
RESULTS. There were 111 male and nine female patients. The median age was 72.5 years and 79% had at least one medical co-morbidity. The mean duration of their chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was 9.8 years, and their mean post-bronchodilator 1-second forced expiratory volumes were 45% (for males) and 58% (for females) of predicted values. There were significantly fewer stage I and more stage IV patients in group 1. Influenza vaccination coverage within the previous 1 year was 54% and did not differ significantly between groups. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease education was given significantly more often to group 1 patients. Short-acting beta agonists were used to treat all patients but long-acting bronchodilators and pulmonary rehabilitation were used almost exclusively in group 1. Overall, long-acting bronchodilators and pulmonary rehabilitation were offered to 16% and 5%, respectively, of those for whom these were indicated (according to international guidelines).
CONCLUSION. In general there was insufficient education and under-treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. Management of such patients warrants improvements by way of increased accessibility to structured education programmes, pulmonary rehabilitation programmes, long-acting bronchodilator drugs, and respiratory specialist care.
Key words: Airway obstruction; Forced expiratory volume; Lung diseases, obstructive; Pulmonary disease, chronic obstructive; Vital capacity
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