COPD and Cardiopulmonary Risk: Patient Insights and Gaps in Patient Education

01 Apr 2024
Introduction: Patients’ access to educational materials describing COPD symptoms and exacerbations is key to increasing awareness about the association between COPD and the risk of cardiopulmonary events. We conducted a patient and caregiver virtual focus group to understand their: 1) personal experience of COPD; 2) understanding of COPD symptoms and exacerbations; and 3) reflections on discussions with HCPs about future cardiopulmonary risk.Methods: A survey of 34 multiple-choice and open-ended questions was developed by external subject matter experts. Eleven people living with COPD and two caregivers recruited from the AstraZeneca Patient Partnership Program in four countries (UK, Brazil, Canada, USA) took part in the survey, of whom eleven attended a virtual focus-group.Results: Feelings associated with a COPD diagnosis by respondents (n=13) included ‘shock’, ‘fear’, ‘confusion’, and ‘devastation’. At diagnosis, respondents had no (n=3), little (n=4), or only some (n=3) understanding about causes of COPD and similarly no (n=5), little (n=4), or only some (n=3) understanding about COPD symptoms. Most respondents (n=7) were not aware that people with COPD may have a flare-up within the next year, and most (n=9) reported no discussion with their HCP about risks associated with COPD or that COPD could affect organs other than the lungs, including the heart. Seven respondents reported having prior knowledge that COPD increases the risk of cardiac events, with three respondents attributing this knowledge to their personal experience of a cardiac event. Figure 1 highlights quotes aligned to the key themes identified. Most respondents felt that this information was very important to know (n=10) and would motivate them to better participate in their own care (n=11).Discussion: These insights highlight a patient information gap in COPD causes, symptoms, and increased risk for cardiac events. Improved education and HCP-patient dialogue may empower patients in recognizing, reporting, and mitigating COPD-associated cardiopulmonary complications.

Resource information

Respiratory conditions
  • COPD
Respiratory topics
  • Co-morbidities
Type of resource
Athens 2024
Tonya Winders1, John Hurst2, Linda Stotsky3, Jad El Khoury4, Marie Eckerd5 1Global Allergy & Airways Patient Platform, Vienna, Austria, 2UCL Respiratory, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 3COPD Patient Caregiver, Nashville, United States, 4AstraZeneca, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 5AstraZeneca, Wilmington, United States