Novel approach to helping long-term smokers

Novel approach to helping long-term smokers

A novel program to identify and support long-term smokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is being trialled by Australian researchers.

COPD, a , is a major public health concern affecting up to 50 per cent of smokers. In its early stages many will be unaware they have the disease. However, people who develop significant COPD will eventually get to a stage where they have difficultly showering, making a cup of tea, and some may end up needing to rely on home oxygen.

RADICALS ('Review of Airway Dysfunction and Interdisciplinary Community-based care in Adult Long-term Smokers') is a Monash University-led study examining a new approach to COPD. RADICALS' tests a program promoting early diagnosis, home-based exercise, quit-smoking support, and medication management.

Dr Johnson George from the Centre for Medicine Use and Safety at Monash University, said seeking appropriate management for the disease early was important to slow down deterioration.

"One in five patients who visits a general practice is a smoker, however at the moment COPD is often not being diagnosed or managed adequately at the primary care level," Dr George said.

"Most people are not diagnosed with COPD until they have lost almost 50 per cent of their lung function. Even those who have been diagnosed may not be receiving the best treatment. Currently, less than two per cent of Australians with COPD are undertaking pulmonary rehabilitation."

Dr George said the RADICALS program would use an inter-disciplinary approach to help increase the quality of life for those with COPD. This project combines the expertise of different health professionals such as GPs, pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists so that patients receive tailored smoking cessation support, home-based rehabilitation, and help with their medication.

The RADICALS program will help smokers quit smoking, and aid in the of COPD and its appropriate management, thereby reducing healthcare costs and improving people's quality of life.

"If we can demonstrate the value of this program, it could be implemented in primary care settings across Australia," Dr George said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Obesity, large waist size risk factors for COPD

Jul 07, 2014

Obesity, especially excessive belly fat, is a risk factor for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

Recommended for you

New toilets for India's poor, crime-hit village

2 minutes ago

More than 100 new toilets were unveiled Sunday in a poverty-stricken and scandal-hit village in northern India, where fearful and vulnerable women have long been forced to defecate in the open.

Can YouTube save your life?

Aug 29, 2014

Only a handful of CPR and basic life support (BLS) videos available on YouTube provide instructions which are consistent with recent health guidelines, according to a new study published in Emergency Medicine Australasia, the jo ...

Doctors frequently experience ethical dilemmas

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For physicians trying to balance various financial and time pressures, ethical dilemmas are common, according to an article published Aug. 7 in Medical Economics.

AMGA: Physician turnover still high in 2013

Aug 29, 2014

(HealthDay)—For the second year running, physician turnover remains at the highest rate since 2005, according to a report published by the American Medical Group Association (AMGA).

Obese or overweight teens more likely to become smokers

Aug 29, 2014

A study examining whether overweight or obese teens are at higher risk for substance abuse finds both good and bad news: weight status has no correlation with alcohol or marijuana use but is linked to regular ...

User comments