National survey on the roles and training of primary care respiratory nurses in the UK in 2006: are we making progress?

Prim Care Respir J. 2007 Oct;16(5):284-90. doi: 10.3132/pcrj.2007.00068.


Objectives: To describe nurse-led UK general practice asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) care, and the training undertaken to support it.

Methods: Questionnaires were sent to 500 randomly-selected UK asthma and COPD practice nurses.

Results: 382 nurses (76%) completed the practice characteristics section, 389 (78%) described their asthma roles and training, and 368 (74%) described their COPD roles and training. 96 practices (25%; 95%CI 21-29%) ran designated asthma clinics, 87 (23%; 95%CI 19- 27%) ran designated COPD clinics, and 170 (45%; 95%CI 40-49%) did not run designated respiratory clinics. Of the 255 nurses with an advanced asthma role, 51 (20%; 95%CI 15-25%) did not have accredited asthma training. Of the 215 nurses with an advanced COPD role, 111 (52%; 95%CI 45-58%) did not have accredited COPD training.

Conclusion: Patients are increasingly being seen outside of designated asthma or COPD clinics, often by nurses with an advanced role. It is important that nurses have the training to fulfil this role.

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Education, Nursing / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / trends
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United Kingdom